Cricket All Stars T20
Warne books in Major League venues
Twenty20 All Star concept gathers steam with famous US baseball grounds to be used for exhibition matches
22 June 2015, 02:14 PM AEST
Shane Warne has confirmed the booking of three of the United States’ most famous baseball venues as part of his and Sachin Tendulkar’s proposed “Harlem Globetrotters” of cricket tour.
According to Warne, the ambitious concept is close to becoming a reality, with interest also coming from Las Vegas about the hosting of one of the legendary pair’s ‘All Star’ matches.
Warne and Tendulkar have targeted the US – which boasts a sizeable subcontinental ex-pat population – as the first in a number of traditionally non-cricket regions they are looking to introduce their roadshow, with Hong Kong and Singapore also on the hit-list.
“At this stage we’ve booked three stadiums, (Chicago’s) Wrigley Field, (New York’s) Yankee Stadium and (Los Angeles’) Dodger Stadium,” Warne told News Ltd. “We’re going to have Bollywood theme nights and it’s all shaping up pretty well.
“We’re looking at ourselves as a Formula One team.
“Myself and Sachin had an idea – why not take cricket to America and be the Harlem Globetrotters, go around and do free exhibitions at schools … help grow the game of cricket (in a country where there are already) 45 teams in LA?
“The Mayor of Las Vegas (Carolyn Goodman) came up to me while I was playing in the World Series of Poker and asked me would we put a game on there and that they’d love to build a stadium and have a proper game in Las Vegas.
“I know the MGM Grand want some stuff to be put on too.”
Warne and Tendulkar’s enterprise – separate from the Dubai-based T20 Masters tournament that was launched earlier this month and is scheduled to be played next February – would see legends of the game compete in three Twenty20 exhibition matches in November.
The duo has already attained the signatures of a slew of greats, including Glenn McGrath, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Brian Lara and Wasim Akram.
“We’ve signed around 28 players who have all said, ‘If you and Sachin are doing it, we’d like to do it as well’,” Warne said.
“We’ve got all the players you’d want to see from the past 20 years. Part of the all-stars idea is we go around and the people who haven’t had the opportunity to see these guys play over the years because they’re based in the States can come.
“We want to go there live, promote the game of cricket for children, put on some events and have some fun playing cricket.”
Warne insisted the concept has the full support of the ICC while discussions were ongoing with the American Cricket Association to pave the way for its involvement also.
Earlier this month he posted these photos and comments on social media from out the front of ICC headquarters in Dubai.
A photo posted by Shane Warne (@shanewarne23) on