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Opinion

In the face of the bushfires, cricket is more than just a game

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8th January, 2020
5

As the fires continue to rage all around the country, many professional Australian cricketers have decided to help out and donate to the worthy cause.

Within the BBL, big hitters Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell and D’Arcy Short will individually donate $250 for every six they hit during the season. Bowlers Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson will donate $200 for every wicket they take throughout the competition in honour of their newly founded Wickets for Wildlife program.

Meanwhile, in Western Australia, Perth Scorchers leg spinner Fawad Ahmed has pledged $250 for every six and wicket he receives in the T20 tournament to the Red Cross bushfire appeal. Finally, the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades are auctioning match-used shirts, with all the proceeds going towards the Country Fire Authority. The links for these auctions are displayed in each team’s recent Twitter posts.

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The Australian Test bowling attack donated $1000 per wicket taken in the new year Test at the SCG. As they bowled out New Zealand in both innings, it resulted in $20,000 being donated to help fight Australia’s national crisis. Furthermore, all of the Australian match shirts worn by the playing XI and 12th man during the Boxing Day Test were put up for auction as a fundraiser for the bushfires. Collectively all the shirts raised over $40,000.

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On 8 February as a curtain-raiser to the BBL final Cricket Australia will be holding a charity T20 legends match. This match will include the likes of Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne as well as many others. All the proceeds from this match will go towards the bushfire appeal.

As well as participating in the charity match, Shane Warne is auctioning off his baggy green cap for the bushfire appeal. Warne announced the decision to put his beloved cap up for an online auction on 5 January via a Twitter post and was widely publicised by Fox Cricket’s live television coverage of Day 4 of the Sydney Test. At the time of writing the bidding exceeds $500,000. The link to the auction is available via Shane Warne’s original tweet regarding his baggy green, and the auction ends on 10 January at 10:00am AEDT.

Following from Shane Warne, former Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson announced that he too will be putting his baggy green up for sale through an online auction for the bushfire appeal. Along with his Test cap, Thommo will also be placing his Test match flannel vest up for auction. The bidding for these collectors items ends on the 11 January at 7:00PM AEDT. The link to the auction has been publicised on many different sports media sites. At the time of writing the highest bid for these items was more than $20,000.

Now it’s up to us, the general cricketing community, to play our part as well. Whether it is bidding for one of the cricket memorabilia items listed above or donating straight to legitimate organisations and programs dedicated to helping people and wildlife being affected by the fires, we can all do something.