MELBOURNE: Cricket greats Shane Warne of Australia and Sachin Tendulkar of India will captain opposing teams of former star players in a threematch exhibition tour of the United States next month. The Cricket All Stars tour will feature shortformat Twenty20 matches in New York, Houston and Los Angeles starting Nov. 7 at Citi Field, home to Major League Baseball’s New York Mets.
Also playing on the tour are former test captains Ricky Ponting of Australia, the West Indies’ Brian Lara, Wasim Akram of Pakistan and England’s Michael Vaughan, as well as South African Jonty Rhodes and cricket’s record wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka. The other games of the tour will be played at the Houston Astos’ Minute Maid Park on Nov. 11 and Dodger Stadium on Nov. 14.
Tendulkar predicted the Twenty20 format matches, which generally take no more than three hours to play, will appeal to U.S. sports fans. “Americans are so passionate about sports, and there’s a huge potential for cricket to take off,” he said in a statement. “We’re also planning some other events and festivities in each city so we can reach as many fans as possible.” Warne said the tour has signed “all the top players you’d ever want to see.” “I’m excited for cricket fans in the United States to be able to see these amazing players for the first time.” Warne is considered one of the greatest bowlers to have played the game, while Tendulkar is an icon in India and regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. The Cricket Australia website reported Wednesday that a portion of the earnings from the three matches will go to the world governing body, the International Cricket Council, to help grow the sport in the US. —AP