Upon the picture perfect landscape of St. Moritz, the long standing rivalry between India’s one of the greatest openers of all time Virender Sehwag and Pakistan pace legend Shoaib Akhter will be renewed in the coming February.
From Thursday 8th to Saturday 10th of February, 2018, the 31st edition of the most prestigious domestic cricket tournament of Switzerland will take place on St. Moritz Lake.
The picturesque Swiss resort of St Moritz is famous for the beauty of its ski slopes and the Adrenalin rush of the Cresta Run. But few sport events can beat the February cricket festival on the ice and snow on the frozen lake.
Since 1988, Cricket on ice has been played by amateurs but for the first time, the great names of cricket world are set to adorn the Alpine resort.
The event called St. Moritz Ice Cricket was launched with an aim to establish cricket in an exotic territory like Switzerland.
All through its history cricket on ice has been a sensational experience attracting global sportsmen and top range of business people from all around the globe. This year the tournament is supposed to be more excruciating after jaw dropping cricketing rivalry between Indian and Pakistani greats will be in the showdown list.
Besides Sehwag and Shoaib, other participants are also possessed big guns of world cricket the like of Lasith Malinga, Mohammad Kaif, Mahela Jayawardene, Grant Elliot, Monty Panesar, Jacques Kallis, Owais Shah, Graeme Smith, Michael Hussy, Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum.
Excited Virender Sehwag said he took just two minute to say a ‘yes’ to the proposal.
“I never thought playing cricket on ice was possible but now that it is happening, I wanted to experience it. It won’t be serious cricket but it would still be a challenge to play on ice,” said Sehwag.
Sehwag further said, “I think it is ICC’s call. They need more nations to play cricket, then it can be part of Olympics. Twelve teams (full members) are not enough.”
Another Indian star on the list Mohammad Kaif said, “Cricket is not popular in Europe but with this initiative, we can make an impact. And playing on ice does sound very interesting,” said the 36- year-old, who is still playing at the First-Class level.
“I was still playing First-Class cricket in 2015 so it was not very difficult to play those matches. Now since I have stopped playing the game completely, it will be a challenge to get into the groove.
But there will be no pressure to win or lose. Also, now that I am retired I don’t need to take anyone’s permission including the BCCI,” Kaif said.
It has been learnt the top stars will be paid in the range of $40,000-50,000 for two games while the others will get in between $20,000-30,000.
To play upon ice, cricketers will use general cricketing gears but wear sports shoes instead of spike shoes. The temperature during the playing season will be as low as -20 degree Celsius at the St. Moritz. Matting pitches will be used.