Ice Cricket in St. Moritz: Virender Sehwag & Shoaib Akhtar rivalry to revive

Virender Sehwag Shoaib Akhtar in St. Moritz Cricket on Ice
Image Courtesy - Sportskeeda

The February of 2018 will see the old India-Pakistan cricket rivalry reignite, as India’s one of the most destructive batsman Virender Sehwag and Pakistan’s Rawalpindi express Shoaib Akhtar will face each other again, but this time in an exhibition match, called Cricket on Ice(Ice Cricket), which will take place in an ice-covered field in a picturesque snow-laden town in Switzerland, called St. Moritz.

Virender Sehwag-Shoaib Akhtar rivalry to revive in Cricket on Ice, in St. Moritz

The exotic venue of Virender Sehwag-Shoaib Akhtar showdown will be a frozen lake in St. Moritz, Switzerland with the beautiful and magnificent Swiss Alps in the background. The concept of playing ‘Cricket on Ice’ was derived back in 1988 by a group of enthusiastic cricket lovers, but this will be the first time that the set-up will be graced by cricketing legends.

READ: St. Moritz – Switzerland’s winter wonderland adds a fun twist to Cricket.

A set of T-20 matches will be played in St.Moritz on February 8 and 9 next year, and Sehwag and Akhtar are not the only legends that will be present there.

Other cricketers featuring in St. Moritz Cricket on Ice

Other cricketing veterans like – Mohammad Kaif, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Michael Hussey, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Grant Elliot, Monty Panesar and Owais Shah – will also play the T20 on ice.

Called St. Moritz Ice Cricket, the event has been initiated with an intention to bring the sport in a remote territory like Switzerland. The event-organiser Vijay Singh has also claimed that the first of it’s kind project has the approval from ICC as well.

Virender Sehwag was present at the launch event along with former team-mate Kaif. ‘Viru’ said that it took just took him two minutes to say yes when he was offered the opportunity. As reported by the Indian Express, Virender Sehwag said,

“I never thought playing cricket on ice was possible but now that it is happening, I wanted to experience it. It won’t be serious cricket but it would still be a challenge to play on ice,”

When Kaif was asked about how much time did it take him to decide that he wanted to play the St.Moritz Ice Cricket, he said,

“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,”

It is, however, not the first time that Virender Sehwag has played in exhibition matches outside India. Owing to his reputation as a batting great, the 39-year-old has played in various events, including the MCA in Dubai and the Cricket All Stars in the USA a couple of years ago. He said,

“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,”

It has been reported that the top cricketers will be paid in the range of $40,000-50,000 for two games, while the others will earn between $20,000-30,000.

How will the Cricket on Ice be played?

Traditional cricketing gear would be used, including the red-ball but instead of spikes, there will be sports shoes as the matches will be played on a matting pitch. The weather is expected to be sunny during the day but the temperatures can dip as low as -20 degree celsius. It will truly be a remarkable cricketing experience.


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