August 5, 2009

Offbeat

Ex-players hitting peak form?

Judhajit



As cricket scales newer heights, 14 former international players, including five Test captains, will make a comeback of sorts at the Bernese Alps in Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, Europe's highest altitude railway station. The proposed six-a-side match, to be played at 11,333 feet, will have an Indian team playing an All-Stars side. The five-over contest could feature stars like Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Viv Richards, Mohammad Azharuddin, Steve Waugh, Michael Vaughan, Chaminda Vaas, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Ajay Jadeja, Shane Warne and even Andrew Flintoff.

Organised by Jaideep Sinh Parmar, the grand-nephew of former Indian cricket chief Raj Singh Dungarpur, the match has been scheduled for August 15, India’s Independence Day. "We are hosting it during the Independence weekend...” said Parmar. “We are bringing back players who have bid goodbye to cricket and the list includes five former Test captains,"

Interestingly, the matting pitch, which will be flown out from India, will be placed on a giant wooden square that has been placed at the centre of a 30-yard field. “Depending on the day’s wind conditions, we will decide upon the direction of the pitch,” Parmar said.

The organisers have wisely kept a reserve day for the game. “The temperature is expected to be around 2°C, but with the heavy winds that lash the peak, you never quite know,” Parmar said.

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