Super Test to aid earthquake victims
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Australian Red Cross have announced that the second day (October 15) of the Super Test between Australia and the World XI will be dedicated to providing relief to the victims of the terrible earthquake that devastated parts of Pakistan and India on October 8. The ICC will donate $500,000 to the Australian Red Cross in addition to a number of fund-raising activities that will be organised on October 15.
"All of us at the ICC are shocked and saddened by this tragedy and the impact it has had in my country and I send my prayers and condolences to all those affected by it," Eshan Mani, the ICC president, who hails from Rawalpindi in Pakistan was quoted as saying in a media release. "In matters such as this, where our member countries have been so directly and critically affected, it is vital that the ICC and cricket uses its influence to be a force for good. The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Sharayar Khan, and the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in Indian, Mr Ranbir Singh Mahendra, played a leading role in helping the board to understand the impact of this tragedy and all countries were unanimous in their support of this initiative."
Dale Cleaver, the acting CEO of Australian Red Cross, said that he was grateful for the ICC's help in contributing to the earthquake relief. "The ICC is showing the way for all of us. This is a massive disaster affecting millions, and the US$ 500,000 injection will go a long way towards the relief effort. But the needs are indeed much greater than initially anticipated and I urge the public to show their compassion yet again and make their own contribution," said Mr Cleaver.
The ICC has, however, turned down Shoaib Akhtar's request for a fund-raising match. Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, said that the board has considered Akhtar's request and felt that pledging the second day of the Super Test was the best method to raise funds. "He's [Akhtar] happy and appreciative of the approach we've taken," Speed was quoted as saying by AFP. Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, also urged people to make contributions. "There is no food, nothing, it's a very bad condition and millions of people are affected."
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) has also announced plans of holding a one-day match to raise funds for victims of the earthquake. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the ACC president, said that the date, venue and other details of the match would be revealed next week. "The date of the match would be decided shortly after looking into the tour arrangements of the Test playing countries," Dalmiya was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
"We will also be approaching the International Cricket Council to accord official status to the match once the details are finalized." The entire proceeds from the match will be donated to provide earthquake-relief. England and Pakistan have also agreed to donate their match fees from the first one-day match at Lahore on December 10 to the relief fund.