Cricket on Top of The Alps

Cricket, it appears will be reaching new heights, literally. On August 15th, as part of India's Independence Day celebration, an All Stars match comprising former greats has been organized on top of the Bernese Alps. Yester-year cricketers like Kapil Dev, Ajay Jadeja, Chris Broad and John Embury (with Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Farokh Engineer as officiating umpires) will feature in the 5-overs-a-side match, the first of its kind being held in snow. Each team will consist of six players.

The match was announced at a press conference earlier today. Speaking on the occasion, Jean-Philip Benoit of Swiss Air and Daniela Fuchs said that the purpose of holding such a cricket match was more than just promoting tourism. "Almost every game -- from football to tennis and from skiing to scuba diving -- is played in Switzerland. However, we hardly see cricket being played in our country," Benoit, the India head of Swiss Airlines, said.

A cricket match at the ‘Top of Europe’ is sure to trigger the curiosity of tourists sightseeing around the Alps in Switzerland. The venue of the match located at the summit of Bernese Alps and called — Jungfraujoch — is at an altitude of about 11,300 feet.

Jaideep Singh Parmar who has been the brainchild behind this concept said, "The pitch has been laid on a wooden base which will be laid on the snow field. The length of the wicket will be 18 yards instead of the usual 22 yards while the boundary itself will be of 30-yard radius.". Regarding the kind of ball that will be used, he commented, "The breeze will play an important part. A red-coloured hard tennis ball is what we plan to use.". The other rules of snow cricket will be similar to beach cricket, he added.

The teams:

Kapil Dev, India’s 1983 World Cup winning captain will lead the Indian team comprising Ajay Jadeja, Anshuman Gaekwad, Sandeep Patil, Syed Kirmani and Roger Binny.

The All Stars squad (comprising players from the West Indies, England and New Zealand) will be led by Alvin Kallicharan. Other members are Collis King, Chris Broad, John Emburey, Geoff Howarth and Neal Radford.

The umpires will be former India skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and keeper Farokh Engineer.

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