Virender Sehwag and Shoaib Akhtar will face each other one more time as the duo have agreed to play St. Moritz Ice Cricket which will be organized in February. Cricket on the ice has been played in St. Moritz by amateurs since 1988 but it will be the first time when professional will play the sport.
Soon, cricket fans will get a chance to witness the rivalry between Sehwag and Akhtar again and this time it will not be ice rather than on a normal pitch. The location for the showdown will be a frozen lake in St. Moritz in Switzerland with the Swiss Alps in the backdrop.
The match will be played on February 8 and 9 and besides Sehwag and Akhtar, the event will feature other cricket stars like Mohammad Kaif, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Michael Hussey, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Grant Elliot, Monty Panesar, and Owais Shah.
The objective of this event is to establish the sport in an unchartered territory like Switzerland. Organiser Vijay Singh of VJ Sports claimed that the pilot project has the approval of the ICC. Sehwag seemed excited about his first stint on the ice and he said that he took just two minutes to say yes to the offer.
"I never thought playing cricket on
Kaif was also present at the launch of the event and also seemed optimistic about the impact of the game in Europe.
"Five minutes to be honest. Cricket is not popular in Europe but with this initiative, we can make an impact. And playing on ice does sound very interesting," said the 36- year-old, who is still playing at the First-Class level.
Before ice cricket, Sehwag has played many exhibition games outside India. He played Masters Champions League in Dubai and was also a part of the Cricket All Stars which was played in Dubai.
"I was still playing First-Class cricket in 2015 so it was not very difficult to play those matches. Now since I have stopped playing the game completely, it will be a challenge to get into the groove.
"But there will be no pressure to win or lose. Also, now that I am retired I don't need to take anyone's permission including the BCCI," he quipped.
It has been reported that the top stars will get paid around $40,000-50,000 for the two games while the others will make between $20,000-30,000. Players will use the traditional cricketing gear including the red-ball but will play with sports shoes instead of spikes.