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Warne, Tendulkar linked to veterans’ exhibition-match series

May 15th, 2015 | by admin
Warne, Tendulkar linked to veterans’ exhibition-match series
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Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar are understood to be planning a new Twenty20 event for retired international players that would involve two teams playing each other in a series of exhibition matches.

Although the plans are not concrete yet at least the organisers – whose identity has not yet been revealed – have a shortlist of 30 players in mind. It is understood that they have identified, among others, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, Anil Kumble, Brett Lee, Adam Gilchrist, Muttiah Muralitharan, Andrew Flintoff, Glenn McGrath and VVS Laxman.

The plan is understood to involve a series of matches around the world over a three-and-a-half-year period, with the USA to host the first series in September. The idea, it is learnt, is to take the matches to places where fans are starved of good quality cricket. The USA, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE are some of the venues the organisers are exploring.

A report in the Australian newspaper said the proposed tournament – which it said would be called the Cricket All-Stars League – had offered contracts worth US$25,000 a match to ex-players to be involved in it.

The seeds for this venture are believed to have been sown last year during Lord’s bicentenary celebrations, where Tendulkar and Warne led teams in a 50-over match. Subsequently both players and their management teams fanned around the cricketing globe to check if recently retired players were interested in playing in Twenty20 matches which would be competitive in nature.

The organisers are also keeping powerful boards like the BCCI, Cricket Australia and ECB in the loop and are expected to make a formal announcement in the next two months to make the plans public.

An ICC spokesman said it had not yet received any communication and had seen nothing other than what had been reported in the media. “There is a process in place with regard to activities such as this and the ICC will deal with it once it is approached,” the spokesman added.

Lee’s manager, Neil Maxwell, said Lee had received an offer and would be seeking permission from Cricket Australia to play.

“I can’t see anything wrong with it,” Maxwell told Fox Sports. “It’s a group of retired blokes playing a game of cricket.”

The reports come as the Indian Essel Group also considers launching a T20 league, although the two ventures are unrelated.

There has been no comment from Warne or Tendulkar, although in January, Warne tweeted that “Sachin & I have an exciting announcement soon”.

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