St Moritz’s witnessed the first ever cricket match being played on ice featuring some of the world cricket’s retired stalwarts on Thursday (February 8). Amidst the snowy peaks and the picturesque backdrop, Shahid Afridi-led Team Royals locked horns against Virender Sehwag’s Diamonds and it was the Royals who emerged victorious by 6 wickets in the inaugural contest.
Diamonds won the toss and elected to bat first with skipper Virender Sehwag leading from the front, scoring a quickfire 62 off 31 balls. Former Australia batsman Andrew Symonds chipped in with a crucial 30-ball 40 as Diamond set a stiff target of 165 for the Royals. Abdul Razzaq was the pick of the bowlers for Royals as he scalped 4 wickets by conceding just 18 runs while speedster claimed 2 wickets by giving away 32 runs in his 4 overs.
In reply, Royals chased down the target in just 15.2 overs with Owais Shah scoring 74 runs. The legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis also played a handy cameo of 36 while Grant Elliott remained unbeaten on 21 as the Royals sealed the deal with 6 wickets in hand and 28 balls to spare.
"It is an exciting concept and needs to be persisted with and it can only grow in people's minds. It can also help St Moritz become a good sports tourism destination," Sehwag told PTI after the match.
It was earlier reported that the top stars featuring in the ice cricket challenge will be paid in the range of $40,000-50,000 for two games while the others will get something between $20,000-30,000. For the retired and semi-retired cricketers, it is certainly a win-win situation.
Shahid Afridi's Royals XI:
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan), Abdul Razzaq (Pakistan), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Graeme Smith (South Africa), Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Nathan McCullum (New Zealand), Grant Elliott (New Zealand), Monty Panesar (England), Owais Shah (England), Matt Prior (England), Aidan Andrews (Switzerland)
Virender Sehwag's Diamonds XI:
Virender Sehwag (India), Zaheer Khan (India), Mohammad Kaif (India), Ajit Agarkar (India), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka), Michael Hussey (Australia), Andrew Symonds (Australia), Mithun Manhas (India), Ramesh Powar (India), Rohan Jain (Switzerland)