Cricket All Stars T20
USA just the beginning for All-Stars: Warne
Cricket legend says the All-Stars concept could go global following this month's series in the USA
3 November 2015, 10:44 PM AEST
Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar lead an all-star cast of cricketing greats in the United States this weekend, on what the former legends hope will be just the first leg of a world tour.
The names are well known to cricket lovers around the globe – Lara, Kallis, Ponting, McGrath, Akram, Laxman, Sangakkara need no introduction. But the public's desire for the greats to roll around again is prompting them to keep the show going.
Cricket All Stars Q&APosted by Sachin Tendulkar on Monday, November 2, 2015
"The Lord's game to celebrate the (Marylebone Cricket Club's) 200 years, they announced myself as the captain of the Rest of the World side and Sachin as the MCC captain, and they sold out 30,000 tickets in a hour," Shane Warne told cricket.com.au.
"They got a wonderful array of players from all around the world and it was a huge success. Sachin and I both had the same idea after that game and we spoke to each other and said why don't we recreate that and take it around the world and let people see who haven’t had the chance to see their idols up close and personal and see them live."
MCC v RoW match highlights
Thus the Cricket All-Stars concept was born. It will see the former greats wind back the years with three games in New York, Houston and Los Angeles over an eight-day span this month, broadcast in Australia on the Nine Network's GEM channel and streamed exclusively on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app to Live Pass subscribers.
Should Warne and Tendulkar's exhaustive marketing and promotion pay off and the games be a commercial success, more will follow. Much more.
"We've signed 28 players for 156 games over three years," Warne said.
"They'll be in America and somewhere else – we're still working out where that will be. We've had some offers from Canada, we've had some offers from Abu Dhabi from the tourism people wanting us to come.
"Hopefully one day we can come to Australia, go to England, India, all the cricket-playing nations.
"So we'll weigh all that up but at the moment it's all about the All-Stars in America, just get this done and weigh up the next step."
A photo posted by Sachin Tendulkar (@sachintendulkar) on
Warne concedes the players will be "at different levels" with some like Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara and South Africa's Jacques Kallis still playing – indeed, both are due to feature in this summer's KFC Big Bash League – while others such as Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock and Wasim Akram are long retired.
"These guys are at different levels but we're talking about some of the great players and they'll be very competitive once they cross that white line," promises Warne.
"Everyone's practicing so it should be pretty exciting actually."
A photo posted by Shane Warne (@shanewarne23) on
Warne's practice took him into both the Pakistan and England training camps last week as they prepared for the Sharjah Test match. While he was enthused by the talents of the new breed – Warne called Pakistan's Yasir Shah "probably the best leg-spinner in the world" one day and England's Adil Rashid "as good as anyone I’ve seen, ever" the next – it's the thrill of seeing the established legends strut their stuff that Warne is banking on.
"There'll be plenty of wonderful players playing and it will be sort of like getting the band back together, isn’t it?" says Warne.
"So we're all getting back together and we're going to have a great time over there and hopefully put on some wonderful games."Cricket All-Stars game one, at New York's Citi Field, will be live streamed on cricket.com.au and the Cricket Australia LIVE app to Live Pass subscribers for iOS and Android devices from 5am AEDT on Sunday November 8. Game two (Thursday November 12, 1pm AEDT) and game three (Sunday November 15, 1.30pm AEDT) will follow suit.