MELBOURNE – Former Australian cricketing greats Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne will temporarily come out of retirement to play in a charity Twenty20 match next month as sports organisations and athletes seek ways to raise funds for bushfire relief.
Since October, thousands of Australians have faced repeat evacuations as huge and unpredictable fires scorched more than 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres), an area roughly the size of South Korea.
Current national coach Justin Langer will also play in the game on February 8 along with former captain Michael Clarke and vice captain Adam Gilchrist, Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement on Sunday.
"I'm delighted to confirm the Bushfire Cricket Bash will be Cricket Australia's major fundraising initiative to support Australians impacted by the recent unprecedented bushfire emergency," CA Chief Executive Kevin Roberts said.
The match will be played on the same day as a women's Twenty20 international between Australia and India in Melbourne and the men's domestic Twenty20 Big Bash final.