Sachin lead MCC to take on Lara~~s World XI

Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Brian Lara will skipper the International XI against an Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) side led by fellow batting great Sachin Tendulkar in a charity game on June 20 largely to help rebuild lives devastated by the tsunami in Sri Lanka.

The game at England's oldest Test venue, The Oval, aims to 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.

"It will feature arguably the world's two best batsmen," MCC chief executive Roger Knight said.

In addition to Tendulkar and Lara several of the biggest names in world cricket have already confirmed their participation.

Also playing for the Asia team will be Tendulkar's teammate Rahul Dravid, Sri Lanka left-arm quick Chaminda Vaas, Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Sami, Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan Indian 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 MCC XI will include such names as Australia leg-spin legend Shane Warne, South African 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.

"Cricket fans will be thrilled by the prospect of seeing the best players in the world face each other," Knight added.

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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