Bushfire Game Now Sunday In Melb No Warne

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Cricket Australia says logistical hurdles ruled out the prospect of its hastily rescheduled bushfire relief match being played at the MCG instead of Junction Oval.

The governing body on Thursday confirmed the charity game would be played in Melbourne.
But Shane Warne won't take part.

It was originally slated to be played between teams captained by cricket greats Warne and Ricky Ponting as a curtain-raiser for Saturday's BBL final at the SCG.

But the last-minute shift, which comes amid a forecast of 45-90mm of rain on Saturday in Sydney, has resulted in the omission of Warne and other big names who had signed up for https://metajack.org/synth-wiki/index.php?title=India_Cheers_Master_Blaster_Sachin_Off_Into_The_Sunset the fundraising clash.

Warne and other late scratchings from the all-star contest, including Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke, had already locked in other commitments for Sunday.

Australia's leading Test wicket-taker said on Thursday night he would play if someone offered up a private plane to get him to South Africa in time for a Nelson Mandela Foundation function on Tuesday.

The governing body mulled over several contingency measures and worked the phones furiously over the past 24 hours.

The charity game will take place after the women's Twenty20 contest between Australia and England on Sunday at Junction Oval, starting at 3:15pm.

There remains the prospect of rain in Melbourne, but not nearly as much as that forecast for Sydney.

Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist, who will replace Warne as one of the captains, believes both the BBL final and charity match should have been moved to the MCG on Saturday.

The nation's premier cricket venue will be vacant and boasts a far bigger capacity than Junction Oval's 7000.

But setting up separate broadcast arrangements at both venues on short notice proved infeasible.

"There's infrastructure set up by virtue of the women's match there," CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said.

"We made the decision this morning (Thursday). We've got 72 hours then to prepare to put on a really special event that will be broadcast around the world.

"We made the call that, with infrastructure there, we run with the Junction.

"It does have a smaller capacity than the MCG, but we've got a sellout for the BBL final on Saturday night at the SCG, so we've got a mix of the large venues and the smaller ones over the weekend."

Some of the sport's biggest names agreed to play the fundraising fixture, including Justin Langer, Wasim Akram and Yuvraj Singh.

West Indies great Courtney Walsh will play, having initially signed up to coach, with Australian Test captain Tim Paine taking over the Gilchrist XI coaching duties.

Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar will coach the Ponting XI.

"I'm very excited to be a part of it," Gilchrist said.

"I've been called off the bench to captain again - that's pretty much synonymous with my whole career, but I never coveted the captaincy and I still didn't, leading into this game.

"It's a real shame that one of the greatest drawcards in cricket history, Shane Warne, can't be there."

Ponting XI: Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting (capt), Elyse Villani, Brian Lara, Phoebe Litchfield, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Wasim Akram, Dan Christian, Luke Hodge. Coach: Sachin Tendulkar.

Gilchrist XI: Adam Gilchrist (capt), 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