Australia v England 2010-11 January 13, 2011

Floods put cricket into perspective for Watson

For some of Australia's cricketers the flood crisis in Queensland has hit especially close to home. Shane Watson, who struck 59 and took 4 for 15 in the first Twenty20, is from Ipswich, west of Brisbane, which is one of the worst affected areas by the devastation and he struggled to focus on his cricket as he watched TV coverage of the rising water.

Watson's mother and father are currently in Sydney so have escaped the danger while his sister is on high ground but is very close to the major flooding. Despite his mind being elsewhere, Watson produced a fine all-round performance in Adelaide which just failed to secure victory although the one-wicket loss wasn't dominating his thoughts.

"Over the past couple of days for me personally it has put things into perspective of exactly what cricket means and what life means with all the devastation in my home town Ipswich," he said. "I love playing and I have a lot of fun doing it but in the end what we do is inconsequential compared to the heartache and the devastation that is going through my home town at the moment.

"My mum and dad are actually in Sydney at the moment, but their house is okay. It's more seeing the footage of the main street of Ipswich. The river is a fair way away from the main street where Coles [the supermarket] is underwater and that sort of thing.

"It's going to take a long, long time for people to pick up the pieces. I'll be doing everything I can to get back there as soon as I can to help out because my heart is there, my family is there. Ipswich has been very, very good to me in my development as a person, and as a cricketer, so I owe a lot to them."

Both Australia and England are heavily involved in fundraising activities for the flood victims during the Twenty20 and one-day series. England have donated to a fund and players from both sides went around the ground collecting donations in Adelaide.

Kevin Pietersen decided to take his own action by setting up an auction of one of his Ashes bats and shirts, plus tickets to the final ODI in Perth where Pietersen will pay the flights for whoever bids the highest. By Thursday afternoon the bid on Ebay had reached more than AUS$12,000 (£8,000) and Pietersen said it was when he saw the TV pictures that he knew he wanted to help.

"I woke up a couple of mornings ago and saw how tragic everything is in Queensland," he said. "I've just been downstairs now and seen on the TV a restaurant that I've eaten three or four times at during the Test match - that's under water at the moment.

"I'm hoping to get double figures [in thousands] of pounds to assist with this. Hopefully the bidding will go up. I think it is around £8,500 pounds, if I can get that a lot higher in the next 10 days that would be amazing. I've never done this before. All I can say is I've tried my best to help the situation which I thought was really, really tragic."

England are due to play a one-day international at the Gabba on January 30 - which has been designated a fundraiser - and Queensland officials are still confident the game will go ahead while the state Government has urged the match to remain. However, the Big Bash encounter that was due to be played in Brisbane on Saturday, between Queensland and New South Wales, has been delayed until January 24.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Sad to see Queensland under water and even my country Sri Lanka devastated with floods in the Eastern Province. In both countries cricketers needs to rise to the occasion and do some helping to overcome the situation. Lets hope for the best. Well done KP - nice gesture - an example to all cricketers worldwide.

  • local on January 14, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    @HarshaCD: I am sure Murali would do his bit - for Sri Lanka. If you didn't know, Sri Lanka has been hit even worse by the floods, with about a million people affected by the floods.

  • Harsha on January 14, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    I think time for everyone to gather around and start donating. Murali if you are reading this, time to really get involved and raise some money not just promises . I am sure Warne would really appreciate whatever funds that comes to his Flood charity work.

  • Dummy4 on January 14, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    very sad to see Brisbane underwater :(

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    very sad to see and hear whats happening in Queensland, very tragic indeed. I hope everything gets well soon. Well done to KP for helping out. Hopefully God will make everything alright soon:)

  • Richard on January 13, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Hear hear Tommo, and many thanks to KP and all those who are generously putting their shoulders to the wheel. Not easy to say but watching one's house go under water makes it easier to swallow one's pride and accept help, even from the Old Enemy. Very grateful for the generosity of our visiting conquerors. Credit where it's due - well done lads. I just hope we have a dry patch for you to play on come the 30th!

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    not often that i say this, but good on you, KP. truly hope that the people of brisbane are able to pick up the pieces - my thoughts are with you all.

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    No-one was expecting these floods to be as bad as they are. I have friends out there and luckily they're not affected, but their nearby areas have been affected, some quite badly. People that don't live in flooded areas can only imagine the extent of the crisis out in Australia, but it is disheartening to see pictures, even NASA pictures, of Queensland submerged in water. I know Shane Warne wants to organise a benefit T20 match to aid the Queensland Flood Funds by means of a Warne XI vs Vaughan XI, and I hope Sky and other international broadcasters can chip in, help set it up, and allow their public to donate whatever amount they can spare to help towards the fund.

    I also think it's both very professional and in the best of goodwill that the England cricketers are doing what they can to help too. I just hope for no more rain in Queensland.

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