In what promises to be an exciting event, a pantheon of former stars will play ice cricket at the resort of St Moritz in the Swiss Alps on 8 and 9 February. The tournament will see two teams, Diamonds and Royals, take on each other at the unique venue – a frozen lake. Temperatures at the resort can dip to -8 to -20 degrees Celsius at night.
The Diamonds team includes former Indian players and is captained by the swashbuckling Virendra Sehwag. Former fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar, ex-middle order batsman Mohammad Kaif, former spinner Ramesh Powar and Mithun Minhas are part of the team.
Sehwag took to Twitter to share his excitement at being part of the event.
Baba re Baba, with so much cold , guaranteed #AbJamegiKulfi .
I will be there, Akhtar bhi hoga, Malinga bhi ,Kallis bhi, Symonds bhi, Mahela bhi, kai dhurandar bhi honge aur unlimited thand and excitement bhi ,Feb 8th & 9th in Switzerland. Dekhiye zaroor! pic.twitter.com/CoklbdzOHF
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 2, 2018
“I thought the ice bucket challenge was tough,” remarked Kaif on Twitter.
I thought the Ice Bucket Challenge was tough, but what’s coming up this Thursday and Friday from Switzerland seems to be tougher. I am going to join dome of the biggest legends of the game for the #IceCricketChallenge in Switzerland. Do watch and support! pic.twitter.com/QLOdHzBt4O
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) February 5, 2018
The Diamonds team also has Lasith Malinga, Mahela Jayawardena and Tillakaratne Dilshan from Sri Lanka; Michael Hussey and Andrew Symonds from Australia; and Rohan Jain from Switzerland.
The Royals team, to be led by Sahid Afridi, also has Shoiab Akhtar and Abdul Razzak from Pakistan; Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith from South Africa; Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum and Grant Elliott from New Zealand; Monty Panesar, Owais Shah and Matt Prior from England; and Aidan Andrews from Switzerland.
The official Twitter handle of Ice Cricket shared some amazing images showing the preparations that are underway for the unique two-day event.
The Ice of Switzerland might be cold but not the spirit of the players!
As you can see from the pictures, the preparations are on full swing even in -8 degrees Celsius temperature!
Are you excited?#Badruttpalace #Cricketstars #temperature #SpiritOfCricket pic.twitter.com/0UWKnP8NHE
— Ice Cricket (@IceCricketCH) February 2, 2018
Cricketers from across the world have been sharing their excitement about being of this novel meet. Here is how former Pakistani speedster, Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar, described his emotions on Twitter.
“Really excited about playing cricket on the ice on Feb 8th and 9th in Switzerland, will be battling it out with the best cricketers so stay tuned for pics and updates,” he told his fans. In another tweet, he described it as “something rare and special”.
The live action will be broadcast on TV by Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD from 4 pm onwards on both the days.
Excited to watch the hottest rivalry on the coolest ice?
Catch the live action on Sony HD and Sony ESPN on the 8th & 9th Feb from 4pm to 8pm.
Special thanks to the associate sponsors RAK Ceramics.#SwissICEcricket #InSwitzerland #Stmoritz #Teamroyals #Teamdiamonds #sonysix pic.twitter.com/tFEhV9CbNT
— Ice Cricket (@IceCricketCH) January 28, 2018
The build-up to the event includes the possible face-off between old rivals Sehwag and Shoiab Akhtar. Some sparks are bound to fly and memories of earlier encounters are set to be brought back when the two take the frozen field.