Tendulkar and Warne unveil All-Star teams for T20 series in the USA 

Former Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne are on the right track to realize their dream to take cricket to the most unfavourable destination  USA in this November  when the two stalwarts of the game along with 26 other former gems will pull their socks up in New York, Los Angeles and Houston to commence the inaugural All-Star Twenty 20 series.

The likes of Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara, Brian Lara and Wasim Akram among a host of big names will feature in the list of 28 cricketers to be divided into two teams for three matches series.

The first match will be played on November 7 at the baseball ground  Citi Field, the home of the Mets, the second T20 will be played at Minute Maid Park in Houston on November 11 and the third and final at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium on November 14.

Sachin Tendulkar said, he wants to prop up cricket in the USA by connecting with the large Indian and Pakistani diaspora there through the All-Star T20 series in his endeavour to globalise the sport.

The idea behind this series was to capitalize on the serious nostalgia among the cricket fans across the world. The plan for this kind series was first planned at the home of cricket the Lord’s when Tendulkar and Warne led the MCC XI and Rest of the World XI respectively at the MCC Bicentenary Celebration match in July last year.

The legendary batsman and the spin wizard will once again lead the two teams when the All-Star series begins. The name of their teams is ‘Sachin Blasters’ and ‘Warne’s Warriors’. However, the players yet to be divided.

“The idea first came to mind when we played the bicentenary match at Lord’s. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the game was a sellout and made us (Sachin and Warne) think why couldn’t retire cricketers get together for something like this. After all, there are so many cricket fans from Asia – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh – who’ve settled in different parts of the world where they’ve missed out on the live action over the years,” Tendulkar told TOI on Tuesday. He agrees that “there is serious value for nostalgia” and an opportunity for players and fans to connect like it happens in so many other sports – much like Pele’s Brazil visiting the US in the 70s, the NBA ‘s All-Star wagon that has been a hit year after year and the ATP Champions Tour in tennis. 

“It will be more of a fun-filled atmosphere where the players will coach school kids and there’ll be a better connect with the fans. At the same time, the players know that once they step on the field, it will be about serious cricket and very competitive,” Tendulkar signed off.

The All-Star Team

India: Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Ajit Agarkar

England: Michael Vaughan, Graeme Swann

Australia: Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Mathew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symmonds

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori

Sri Lanka: Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara

Pakistan: Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Moin Khan Saqlain Mushtaq

South Africa: Jacques Kallis, Allan Donald, Lance Klusener, Jonty Rhodes, Shaun Pollock

West Indies: Brian Lara, Carl Hooper, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose.