Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan to represent World XI against Sri Lanka
What’s the story?
A charity game between Sri Lanka XI and World XI, initially scheduled to be held after the conclusion of the ongoing India series, has been postponed, according to a report in Wisden India. Slated to take place on September 8, the match was deferred after Sri Lanka Cricket’s Technical Committee decided to give the players a break from their grueling schedule, and also because the initial date couldn't guarantee the availability of some of the star players.
“A couple of key players like Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara are also not available on this date, so we felt that we could afford to wait a while and play this game at a more conducive time,” Ashley De Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket, said.
In case you didn’t know…
The match was initially scheduled to be held two days after the T20I between India and Sri Lanka, with the teams comprising of both contemporary and retired players. The motive of organising the game is to raise funds for victims of the recent floods and also those suffering from chronic kidney diseases.
It is important to note that this side will be different from the ICC World XI that will travel to Pakistan to play a three-T20 series, also scheduled for next month.
The heart of the matter
While the names of the players set to take part were not revealed, Sri Lanka Cricket have now divulged a few names who will take part in the game. From India, the out-of-favour trio of Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan and Robin Uthappa have confirmed their participation, while other players include Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Luke Ronchi, Tymal Mills and Graeme Cremer .
De Silva also thanked other boards for extending their support and giving a go-ahead to the players to represent the World XI side.
The Lankan board has not pinpointed on a specific date for the game to take place, but has assured that the match will be played "at the earliest date possible".
Charity games in sport have always been a medium of spreading awareness and raising funds, with crowds helping the cause by flocking to the stands to see stars play the game. It also gives an opportunity for the game's followers to witness legends of the yesteryears in action, with retired players returning to ply their trade in front of the crowds once again.
A heavy southwest monsoon resulted in floods in the Lankan island in May this year, affecting close to 700,000 people. The noble cause that the cricketers have agreed to, will help alleviate the sufferings of those affected, with special focus being given to children and the elderly. Hopefully, the game takes place soon, both for the sake of the cause, and for the fans who'll get to see the players in action.