The gentleman’s sport of cricket, an obsession on the Indian subcontinent, has been strategically used to drum up interest in Switzerland by promoters and tourist attractions.
Get the world’s fastest ever bowler (Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan) to send a cricket ball whizzing at one of the most aggressive batsmen of all time (Virender Sehwag of India) and choose Swiss luxury ski resort St Moritz as the scene of the combat between sporting rivals.
This is the premise of the Ice Cricket tournamentexternal link held on February 8 and 9. The match is featuring retired legends of the game from India, Pakistan, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Ice Cricket 2018 teams
Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Daniel Vettori, Nathan McCullum, Grant Elliott, Monty Panesar, Owais Shah, Matt Prior and Aidan Conor Andrews.
Badrutt’s Palace Diamonds
Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Joginder Sharma, Ramesh Powar, Michael Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Rohan Jain.
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Cricket on Iceexternal link in St Moritz dates back to 1988 when Swiss anglophile Daniel Haering and his friends found themselves in St Moritz only to find there was no snow. They suddenly had the idea to play a game of cricket on ice and requested the nearby Lyceum Alpinum school to send players and equipment.
The match was such a success that Haering set about persuading the local tourist authorities to give the tournament a space on the ice each year. The tournament snowballed into an annual event with teams invited from around the world. Players need to wrap up in thermals, gloves and hats and have footwear with a good grip to stop them from slipping on the outfield.
Switzerland Tourism took inspiration from the tournament and got Indian actor Ranveer Singh, who served as brand ambassador, to play some cricket in St Moritz as well.