Rest of the World v Asia, Melbourne
A victory for the Rest of the World XI and a victory for the Australian people who united for this cause with passion and compassion. They raised a phenomenal amount on the day of the match (AUS $14,645,123.85/ US$11,021,000) which will go a long way to rebuild the shattered lives of all those affected by the disaster.
But the Australian people’s generosity doesn’t stop there – there are countless other cricket-related initiatives set up across the country. The money raised from these will continue to accumulate for months, if not years to come. The unprecedented scale of the disaster needed a response of equal magnitude and Australia have been at the forefront of this.
The ACC Chief Executive with Australian Prime Minister
Mr. John Howard
In a widely appreciated pre-match address in front of the 70,101 crowd ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq said, to the “People of Melbourne, People of Australia, the ICC and Cricket Australia - Thank you very much for all the help and support in our cause to rebuild Asia after the terrible tsunami tragedy. Your generosity is very much appreciated and we will never forget this occasion. Thank you from the core of our hearts. We Asians love you all.”
As for the match itself, in a game enlivened by some sublime strokeplay and thunderous hitting from Gilchrist, Lara, Ponting, Cairns, Jayasuriya, Sehwag and Dravid as well as some canny bowling from McGrath, Warne, Vettori, Khan and Muralitharan (including three doosras) – a fit, focussed and relaxed Rest of the World XI beat a slightly physically below par Asian XI who conceded a few too many runs in the field.
Still, cricket was the winner and occasions such as these also serve to remind participants, administrators and spectators that uniting for a cause is far betting than fighting for applause.
Filed January 18 2005