Sachin Tendulkar opens up on why joining the Bushfire charity match was a no-brainer
Sachin Tendulkar is all set to "coach" the Ricky Ponting XI for the charity match.
It's the country which almost gave him a new accent and the "special feeling" for Australia were two reasons why Sachin Tendulkar didn't think twice before joining the Bushfire Bash charity game on receiving a call from his former on-field foe Brett Lee.
Tendulkar, who is set to coach the Ricky Ponting XI during Sunday's charity fundraiser match at the Junction Oval at Melbourne, said the moment he got a call from Lee, it was "no-brainer" that he wanted to join the project.
"I received a message from Brett Lee. Brett said that Kevin (Roberts, Cricket Australia's chief executive) would like to be in touch with you. It was a no-brainer. From the moment I was asked, I said, 'yes I'm more than happy to come here'," Tendulkar was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"This is an alarming situation, it's catastrophic - that's an understatement. You see the number of lives it has affected, not only humans but also wildlife which sometimes people don't talk about. That is equally important," Tendulkar said.
"I'm so happy I'm here in whatever way to support the cause, to raise money."
Talking about his memories from Down Under, Tendulkar said: "Australia has always been dear to me. In 1991, as an 18-year-old I remember coming here (for the first time). I spent almost four months here. I almost had an Aussie accent when I went back to India.
"The competitive cricket that I played here at the age of 18 helped me a lot in my career, so I have a special feeling for Australia and Australian people."
But one former rival Tendulkar will surely miss is the spin legend Shane Warne, who had drop out of the game after the last-minute rescheduling of the agme from Syndey to Melbourne due to rain forecast on Saturday.
Not only Warnie, who was supposed to captain a side, but his former teammates Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke also had to drop out due to prior commitments on Sunday.
CA, having mulled over several contingency measures and working the phones furiously over the past 24 hours, confirmed its new arrangements late on Thursday afternoon. The charity game will start at 3:15pm on Sunday, while the women’s Twenty20 between Australia and England at the same venue has been shifted back to an 11:40am start.
Meanwhile Australian legends Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting will now captain the two sides, while Australian test captain Tim Paine and batting legend Tendulkar will coach the two sides.
Squads for the Bushfire Charity game:
Ponting XI: Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting (c), Elyse Villani, Brian Lara, Phoebe Litchfield, Brad Haddin (wk), Brett Lee, Wasim Akram, Dan Christian, Luke Hodge.
Coach: Sachin Tendulkar
Gilchrist XI: Adam Gilchrist (c & wk), Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Yuvraj Singh, Alex Blackwell, Andrew Symonds, Courtney Walsh, Nick Riewoldt, Peter Siddle, Fawad Ahmed (one more to be announced).
Coach: Tim Paine