West Indies cricketers Darren Sammy and Keiron Pollard are all set to battle against each other to raise funds for the victims of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean islands, mainly Dominica, have recently been devastated by three hurricanes – Irma, Jose and Maria.
In a bid to raise TT$1,000,000 for the victims, a Caribbean Select XI led by Sammy and a Trinidad and Tobago XI led by Pollard will face off in the Hurricane Relief T20 match on October 14 at Port of Spain.
The charity event was announced by former West Indies Players Association President Dinanath Ramnarine in a press conference at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Tuesday.
“The intention of this charity match is to use sport as the unifying force for good that we all know it is and can be,” he said.
“It is important that our sporting heroes can stand up and be counted when their assistance is required they are ready to put their talent on display for the benefit of more than just those who spectate but those who need it most. They are all eagerly anticipated the event and making their unique contribution to the Caribbean wide initiative,” Ramnarine added.
Ramnarine has promised that both the sides will have the best of their players available for the tie.
Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake is likely to make an appearance once again after taking part in a similar match two years ago at Barbados.
Dominica Off spinner Shane Shillingford who has just recently been found after going missing in the aftermath of the hurricanes, is also expected to take part in the charity tie.
Australia’s pace spearhead Mitchell Starc is set to make his return from injury for New South Wales against South Australia in a one-day match on Friday.
The express bowler has been sidelined ever since aggravating a foot injury during the ICC Champions Trophy in England earlier this June.
The tall left-arm bowler had picked up the injury initially during Australia’s Test tour of India at the start of the year but has now recovered completely.
Australia’s bowling coach David Saker confirmed that Starc and Josh Hazelwood will play first-class cricket before the start of the Ashes series with England later this year.
Meanwhile Australia’s third pacer Pat Cummins has been rested for the T20I series against India after his exertions in the five-match ODI series.
“Whether the fast bowlers play all three of those we’ll wait and see,” Saker told reporters on Monday. “Three Shield games to shape the Australian team – it’s going to be good for everybody.”
Doubts remain over Victorian pacer James Pattinson’s fitness in the lead-up to the Ashes after fears that the bowler remains vulnerable to recurring stress fractures in his back.
“Three of them we know are on track,” Saker said. “James Pattinson’s had a little setback but we’re not sure how bad at the moment. Josh Hazlewood is on track to play the first Test. Mitchell Starc’s going really well and Patty’s obviously flying,” he added.
The Aussies will be hoping for a bowling attack of Mitchell Star, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood and Nathan Lyon when the first Test against England at the Gabba on November 23.
Starc meanwhile remains confident that the current bowling attack are capable of emulating the Mitchell Johnson inspired whitewash of the arch-rivals in the Ashes 2013-14 series Down Under.
“We’ve got a really solid attack and we complement each other. If it’s not me, you’ve got pat Cummins who can bowl fast bouncers and Josh Hazlewood bowling consistent line and length,” Starc told the Daily Telegraph.
“It’ll be much like that attack did when Johnno took all those wickets, I think we complement each other really well.
“Throw in Jackson Bird and Coulter-Nile is back bowling really well so we’ve got five really good guys there and if Patto is fit to go, six.
“There’s probably an opportunity with a few of their younger guys or less experienced guys in the top order to get on top of them (in the first Test) much like Mitch (Johnson) did to some of their batsmen through that series.”
Starc is confident of playing the majority of the one-day Cup and has been slated to participate in the first two Sheffield Shield matches for New South Wales before turning his attention to the first Test at Gabba.
With England star Ben Stokes suspended indefinitely for his Bristol night club brawl arrest, Starc remains confident that the hosts can deal with the visitors with or without the all-rounder.
“He’s a big part of their team and if he’s on the plane we’ll assess him, otherwise we don’t need to worry about it,” he said.
“I’m sure they can (compete without Stokes). He probably makes their team a bit more balanced but he’s not the be all and end all of their team. There’s plenty of guys we need to worry about.”
The schedule for Sri Lanka’s upcoming tour of India has been finalised though the official announcement from the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) remains pending.
ESPNcricinfo have released the complete the itinerary of the six-week long tour upon verification with the various hosting centres across the country.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is against India starting from November 16.
Eden Gardens in Kolkata is the venue for the first Test while the second and third Test will be played in Nagpur and New Delhi respectively.
The islanders are also scheduled to play a warm-up game before the first Test starts on November 16. They will culminate their tour with the final T20I at Mumbai on December 24.
This will be the second full bilateral series between the two sides in the space of six months with India recently completing a 9-0 whitewash in all formats in their tour of Sri Lanka.
India will embark on their tour of South Africa immediately after their completing their engagements with Sri Lanka with Virat Kohli’s men scheduled to play a warm-up on December 28.
The bilateral series with Sri Lanka was a late addition to India’s calendar. The Indian side were originally expected to have a longer tour of South Africa with a Boxing Day Test starting on December 26.
However, that tour has now seen one Test cut short with Zimbabwe replacing India as South Africa’s Boxing Day opponents in a four-day Test which could be classed as official pending the approval of the ICC.