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Tendulkar to play in tsunami Twenty20 tie

Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London:Indian star batsman Sachin Tendulkar has agreed to play in the Asia XI against the International XI here at The Oval on June 20 in a charity game largely to help rebuild lives devastated by the Tsunami in Sri Lanka it was announced here.

Several of the biggest names in world cricket had already confirmed their participation in the match.

Also playing for the Asia team will be Tendulkar's team-mate Rahul Dravid, Sri Lanka left-arm quick Chaminda Vaas, Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Sami, Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan India spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble and Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, who knows The Oval well from his time there as a Surrey player.

The International XI will include such names as Australia leg-spin legend Shane Warne, West Indies batting great Brian Lara, South Africa stars Shaun Pollock and skipper Graeme Smith, Kiwi duo Stephen Fleming and Chris Cairns, as well as Surrey and England batsmen Graham Thorpe and Mark Butcher.

However, Tendulkar's decision to play should add even more interest to the match and delighted Paul Sheldon, chief executive of Surrey County Cricket Club.

"Sachin Tendulkar is the biggest name in world cricket and we are delighted to have him playing in the Twenty20 game at the Oval. This provides a rare opportunity for cricket fans in England to see the great man play."

"We have already secured some of the biggest names in world cricket, and expect the game to be a sell out. To have Sachin's name on the team sheet will go a long way to helping us reach our target of raising over 1million for the Oval Cricket Relief Trust."

The game is being held at England's oldest Test venue and the London home of Surrey County Cricket Club who are hoping it will raise in excess of one million pounds (1.88 million dollars) for the Oval Cricket Relief Trust.

The Oval Cricket Relief Trust has been set up with the intention of donating money to the rebuilding of a village in Sri Lanka, helping with the efforts in Grenada after the hurricanes in 2004 and being able to put money to one side in order to help with the next natural disaster in a cricket loving part of the world.

A One-day international match between Asia and the Rest of the World at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in January, barely a couple of weeks after the tsunami swept across Indian Ocean coastline on December 26, raised 11 million dollars.

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