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December 31, 2004
The international cricket community is moving quickly to organise a fund-raising match for the victims of the natural disaster that struck South Asia days ago. Tim May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, sent a proposal to all world player associations asking if they would support a match played on January 11 or 12. Needless to say, the response was overwhelming.
The Herald Sun newspaper reports that May then rushed his proposal to Cricket Australia, who gave their immediate support to the cause. Then, the proposal was put before the International Cricket Council in an urgent attempt to get official recognition for the match.
The match is likely to be played in one-day format, probably as Australia v Rest of the World. Players from the England and South Africa teams will be unable to take part as the two countries are locked in a five-Test series at the moment.
All that is required now is for the logistics to be worked out. "The only reason why it would not get up would be if there was too much to do but I don't think that is an excuse," May is quoted as saying. "It took only two minutes for the devastation to occur. It should not be too much trouble to organise a cricket match in 12 days."
If the match is endorsed by the ICC, and it widely expected that this will happen shortly, it has potential to raise a healthy amount of money. The world's best, and most glamorous, cricketers, including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Adam Gilchrist and Brian Lara are set to take part in the game.
Sri Lanka, one of worst-hit countries in the tragedy, has cancelled its tour of New Zealand but May revealed that the Sri Lankan players would be more than willing to play this fund-raising match. "The Sri Lankan players told us that if the match was approved they would be here in a heartbeat."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.