3 SL greats agree to play

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Bangladesh Cricket Board’s plan to assemble the Asian greats in Dhaka for a charity match to help the Sidr victims gained momentum when at least three former Sri Lankan cricketers confirmed their participation, said an official on Wednesday.
‘Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva and Romesh Kaluwitharana have confirmed that they will be coming to play in the match,’ said an official, closely working to host the match in January.
The BCB has entrusted event management company Riz Events to hold the match between Asian legends and former Bangladeshi cricketers and the official said they have made significant progress.
Initially, the match was planned to take place on December 28 at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, but for obvious reasons it has been shifted to January 11. The new date could also be changed subject to availability of the former greats.
‘Some of the greats we have invited will be in the commentary box during the upcoming Test series between India and Australia and thus it will become very difficult to get them for the match. However, there is a gap from January 6 to 16 in the series, so we hope at least a few people will come,’ said the official asking not to be name.
‘Among the Indians Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Sandeep Patil have been invited, but none have confirmed their participation. Gavaskar has already regretted and the others have promised to inform us of their availability shortly,’ said the official.
‘From Pakistan Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad, Mudassar Nazar and Shoaib Mohammad have been invited for the match,’ said the official hoping that they will be able to give details of the match to the media on December 26.
Meanwhile, the ICC has regretted to host any charity match for the Sidr victims with the current international players, but said it would donate $2.5 lakh to the relief fund of chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed.
An ICC official is expected to hand over the money to the Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful in Hamilton on Sunday, when the Tigers will play a charity Twenty20 match against Stephen Fleming-led New Zealand XI.