Sri Lanka Cricket will stage a Twenty20 match between a Sri Lanka XI and a World XI on September 8 to raise funds for disaster-affected children following recent incidences of both flooding and drought across different parts of the country.
Ashley de Silva, the CEO of SLC, confirmed on Sunday (August 13) morning that the game, which will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, will feature a mix of past and current players in both teams.
De Silva added that the match had the blessings of the International Cricket Council. It will be held under the aegis of Cricket Aid, the CSR wing of SLC which has been in existence since 2004, and which was revamped after the last elections to the governing body, a year and a half back.
“We are not in a position to reveal the names of the players at the moment,” de Silva said. “The idea of staging this match was first broached at the chief executives’ meeting of the ICC where our president, Thilanga Sumathipala, expressed the desire to raise funds to help those affected by the tragedies. All member boards of the ICC pledged their full support; we are expecting players from up to seven countries to make up the World XI, including from India.
“We are still in the process of procuring names from the other countries from which the final 13 will be picked. From our point of view, unfortunately, Kumar Sangakkara won’t be available for the Sri Lanka XI because he has county commitments and he is not sure if he will be released by his county,” said de Silva of the Sri Lankan legend currently playing for Surrey. “We have also spoken to Mahela (Jayawardene) and while he too has a prior commitment, he has said he will try his best to work around that, if possible, to be available for the match.”
However, Tillkaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya, both former captains and the latter currently the chairman of selectors, will definitely play the game.
While de Silva was unwilling to commit on names and the kind of money they were looking to generate from the game, he did say that the expenditure in putting the match together would be in the range of 35-40 million Sri Lankan rupees (in the region of INR 15 million).
“We have been working on this game for a couple of months now, and today we are formally announcing that the game will go ahead, no matter what,” said Jerome Jayaratne, the COO of SLC. “The logistics have all been worked out, now it is about creating awareness and approaching the market so that we get adequate support for this noble cause.”