Ice Cricket 2018: Zaheer Khan, Shahid Afridi thrilled with new experience | Page 2 | Daily News

Ice Cricket 2018: Zaheer Khan, Shahid Afridi thrilled with new experience

With ice cricket the sport took a step into the world of winter sports.
With ice cricket the sport took a step into the world of winter sports.

Cricket is a sport of various formats. Test, One-Day International and Twenty20 cricket. The newest entrant in the world of cricket is Ice Cricket Challenge, which was played in the Swiss alps.

Modern greats faced off for two T20 matches in the resort town of St Moritz in temperatures below zero degrees. The matches were played on a frozen, snow-covered lake. An artificial turf carpet was placed in the center to use as a pitch.

The two teams were captained by Virender Sehwag and Shahid Afridi. And the participants included Mahela Jayawardene, Mike Hussey, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Shoaib Akthar among others.

Afridi’s Royals defeated Sehwag’s team in both the matches to complete a 2-0 whitewash.

It was a unique experience for the yesteryear stars and they want to see more of it.

“It’s a beautiful place and It’s a very new experience, “former Indian pacer Zaheer told Sports Tak. “It’s something that we have never seen. All the players are loving the experience.”

“It’s a terrific experience, playing in the snow,” said former Australian cricketer Hussey. “I loved the experience and would love to comeback.”

The tournament was also an opportunity for the former players to share the dressing room with their former rivals and relive the old memories, but the event didn’t lack the feel of an international match.

“A professional player will always be competitive. The focus is on winning the matches,” added Zaheer.

“There was a big crowd and they got their money’s worth as the matches were pretty interesting,” said former Pakistan fast bowler Akhtar. “There were big sixes, fours and wickets. So everything was there.”

“The cricket we witnessed was very competitive,” said former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.

The tournament was extra special for fans from India and Pakistan, who are starved of international cricket between the two neighbours.

“India and Pakistan are not playing enough international cricket, so ice cricket is compensating for it,” told former Pakistan captain Afridi.

“We can see cricket fans are present here from all over the world and the presence of Indian and Pakistan cricket stars have brought them to ice cricket.

The format is cricket’s entry into the world of winter sports and players feel it can help popularise cricket in other European nations or help the game become a part of Winter Olympics.

“Ice cricket is a terrific idea and I hope ICC will look into it. Hope we will get to see international matches on ice in future,” said Razzaq.

“It has been a very successful initiative and can be used to popularise cricket in other countries which receive snow.”

“It will be a great move to include cricket in Olympics,” said Hussey. “T20 will be a good format. Short and sharp and also very entertaining.”

In the first match skipper Sehwag struck a quick-fire 62 to set a target of 165 for Afridi’s XI to win the match. Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq returned match figures 4/18 from 4 overs.

In reply, Owais Shah hammered an unbeaten 74-run knock to single-handedly win the match for the Royals.

In the second match, Jacques Kallis struck an unbeaten 90 as Royals defeated Sehwag’s Palace Diamonds by eight wickets. Sehwag’s XI put up a formidable score of 205/5 in 20 overs that Afridi’s XI chased down with 20 deliveries to spare.

The Diamonds once again batted first and Andrew Symonds unbeaten 67 and a late attack by Mohammad Kaif (57) helped the Diamonds reach 205. Abdur Razzaq was once again the most successful bowler with three wickets while Daniel Vettori and Grant Elliot chipped in with a wicket each.

Chasing 206, Kallis topped it all with a brilliant 90 off just 37 deliveries. During his big knock, Kallis hit 13 boundaries and four sixes. Along with him, man of the series - Owais Shah stepped up once more with a quick-fire 43. - Indiatoday


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