Melbourne, Oct 18 (IANS) Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne is excited about the prospect of taking the game to the US at next month’s Cricket All Stars and is hoping to find the next international star during the tour.
Warne and Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar will captain opposing star-studded teams during a three-game Twenty20 series in the United States, with many former greats joining the pair in the exhibition tour that commences at Citi Field in New York on November 7.
Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Glenn McGrath and Andrew Symonds are among the former Australian players to have committed to the tour, while Curtley Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram and Michael Vaughan will add the international flair.
Warne admitted that taking the game to the US was somewhat of a risk, but added that it might just be worth taking.
“There are over 45 cricket teams in Los Angeles, there are lots (of teams) in New York and there are lots through the West Coast of America. There is also Canada, who have done well in the past at the World Cup, so there is a healthy appetite for it and we think if we get all the stars that have been playing and all the legends that have played over the years, that it is a great advertisement for the game,” Warne was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Sunday.
“We will give free coaching to kids and if a young kid could pick up a cricket bat instead of a baseball bat that would be pretty fun. And who knows, we might even get our first American cricketer. It is really exciting and it is a great concept.”
Warne said the idea of taking the game to America first came to him when he and Tendulkar captained sides during the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) 200-year anniversary at Lords in 2014.
“I was captain of one side and Sachin was the captain of the other and when they announced both of us as captains they sold out 30,000 seats within an hour.”
“We thought why don’t we recreate that so we have signed up 28 players and we have signed 15 matches over three years. It’s not just in the United States, it is all over the world and we might even come here to Australia in the future. We have signed everyone you can think of that was available,” said the 46-year-old.