Legends of the game including Mike Hussey, Mahela Jayawardene, Shahid Afridi and Virender Sehwag will go head-to-head in a new cricket tournament on Thursday, with one unique difference: it will be played on ice.
The first Ice Cricket Challenge gets underway in St Moritz in the Swiss Alps on February 8, when the Afridi XI takes on the Sehwag XI in two Twenty20 matches across two days.
Other stars set to feature include Andrew Symonds, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Grant Elliot, Monty Panesar and Lasith Malinga.
The matches will be played on a frozen, snow-covered lake on an artificial turf carpet, with players using traditional cricket gear and a red ball, but wearing normal sports shoes rather than spikes.
One other big difference will be the weather. St Moritz is set to make Hobart look balmy: a top of -5 degrees Celsius is tipped for both days of play.
While the star-studded tournament is new, cricket has been played on ice in St Moritz for more than 25 years, with the lake’s incredibly thick ice able to withstand more than 200 tons of weight – enough not just for a game for cricket, but also for grandstands to house spectators.
Play gets underway at 11am local time on Thursday (9pm AEDT).
Afridi’s XI: Shahid Afridi, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Daniel Vettori, Grant Elliot, Nathan McCullum, Owais Shah, Monty Panesar, Shoaib Akthar, Abdul Razzaq, Matt Prior, Aiden Andrews (Switzerland)
Sehwag’s XI: Virender Sehwag, Ajit Agarkar, Mike Hussey, Mohammad Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Andrew Symonds, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Ramesh Powar, Mithan Manhas, Rohain Jain (Switzerland)