A star-studded line-up of players will step out on Australia Day for the Victorian Turf Cricket Association’s bushfire appeal game.
The VTCA has assembled a who’s who of local and international talent to play in a one-day charity game at Hansen Reserve in West Footscray to raise much-needed funds for those struggling as a result of the devastating bushfires.
Dubbed a ‘one-day international’, the teams featuring will be an Australian XI, made up of home grown players in the VTCA, and a World XI, featuring the VTCA’s top imports.
Hussain Hanif, coach of the Yarraville Club Cricket Club, will oversee the World XI team as coach.
He has applauded the players and the league for chipping in to support those unfortunate to be in the bushfire zones.
“It’s a much-needed cause with what’s going on,” Hanif said. “We’re trying to get the whole community behind it.
“To have these international players here, it’s a great way to see some good quality cricket, spend your Australia Day enjoying some wonderful activities outside of cricket as well and witness a high class game of cricket in the western suburbs, and backed with a great cause helping those affected by the devastating bushfires.”
Hanif can sense the excitement building among the World XI players to be part of a great cause.
He said the charity game will allow the imports to socialise with players from outside their own VTCA clubs, while also getting to experience Australia Day celebrations with the wider community.
“With the world XI team, it’s guys that have come from overseas, so it gives them the opportunity to understand Australian culture through cricket and at the same time support a much-needed cause as well.
“A day like Australia Day, to play cricket with guys in the same competition as themselves, it’s a great way to engage and understand, but it’s also giving back as well. “To give back something outside of your club space is amazing.”
Hanif has looked on in awe from afar at a number of players in the World XI team from opposition clubs in the VTCA. He is looking forward to seeing first hand what makes them tick as cricketers and as people.
“I’m really excited,” he said.
Shakeem Clarke is a player that has potential to excite for the World XI.
The PEGS fast bowler had jaws dropping with the pace of his deliveries in a charity game in he UK that was live streamed on the internet.
“He bowls absolute wheels,” Hanif said. Amit Chaudhary, a veteran from Haig Fawkner, is one of the craftiest bowlers in the World XI team.
On the batting side, World XI captain Kaushal Lokuarachchi, a former Sri Lankan international, could be a thorn in the side of the Australian XI. He has already passed 400 runs for Keilor this summer.
Australian XI: Will Sheridan (captain), Leigh Wilson (vice captain), Emmett Bronca, Brenton Cook, Anthony Cristofaro, James Damjanovski, Rhys Dodemaide, Nathan Johnson, Jackson Knight, Aaron Maynard, Shafraz Mohamed, Tarek Moughanie, Daniel Stavris.
World XI: Kaushal Lokuarachchi (captain), Amit Chaudhary (vice captain), Michael Hay, Arish Alam, Geeth Alwis, Shakeem Clarke, Dinesh Daminda, Dharmasiri Dhanushka, Chinthaka Jayasinge, Thillina Masmulla, Jair McAllister, Sangaran Nandhalal, Chanaka Welegadara.