Cricket greats reshuffled as Bushfire Bash back-up venue secured

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

Cricket Australia have been forced to reschedule the Bushfire Bash fundraising match, resulting in several big names being forced to withdraw from the event.

Heavy rain forecast in Sydney forced CA to scrap the curtain raiser for Saturday’s Big Bash League grand final.

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A new venue has been secured - Melbourne’s Junction Oval - but the change in location has forced several big names to drop out of the charity event.

Shane Warne, Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke, as well as Brisbane Heat star Grace Harris and NRL great Brad Fittler have all had to withdraw.

Fortunately, this hasn’t resulted in a loss of star power for the charity bash.

Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist will replace Warne as one of two team captains, while West Indian legend Courtney Walsh will play for Gilchrist’s team, rather than coach.

Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist will play in the Bushfire Cricket Bash, which has been moved to this Sunday at Melbourne's Junction Oval. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Current Australian Test captain Tim Paine will take over as coach of the Gilchrist XI.

The Bushfire Bash will follow the previously scheduled international women’s T20 clash between Australia and England.

Former Aussie cricket coach hospitalised after health scare

Former national cricket coach Darren Lehmann is in hospital and will undergo bypass surgery in Brisbane on Saturday.

Lehmann, who turned 50 on Wednesday, experienced chest pains on the morning of his birthday while on the Gold Coast.

The heart scare was assessed in hospital, where Lehmann is continuing to rest.

"I would like to thank everyone in the Australian cricket family for their concern," Lehmann said in a statement.

"I am receiving the best of medical care and am confident I'll be back on my feet soon."

Cricket Australia (CA) released a statement on Wednesday night, wishing Lehmann a full and speedy recovery and requesting privacy on behalf of his family.

Lehmann was in town to watch his son Jake play for the Cricket Australia XI against the England Lions at Metricon Stadium.

The two-time World Cup winner, who played 27 Tests and 117 ODIs for Australia, coached his country to Ashes series wins in 2013-14 and 2017-18.

Lehmann tearfully resigned as national coach in 2018 following the Cape Town scandal, having been cleared by a CA investigation of any wrongdoing in the sandpaper saga.

The former batsman has since performed TV and radio commentary duties, while he returned to coach Brisbane Heat for the 2019-20 BBL season.

Lehmann has signed up to coach the Leeds-based team in England's new domestic competition, The Hundred.