Monday, January 10, 2005

Warne wants to visit Sri Lanka to help Asian tsunami relief

Warne wants to visit Sri Lanka to help Asian tsunami relief

(Daily News Colombo)

Test cricket's leading bowler Shane Warne said he wants to visit Sri Lanka to help in the tsunami relief effort.

Warne, one of the world stars playing in the Cricket Tsunami Appeal one-dayer against Asia here on Monday, said he had spoken to World Vision Australia boss Tim Costello and Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan about trying to arrange a visit.

The devastated Sri Lankan city of Galle holds special significance for the 35-year-old Australian leg-spinner who made his return to Test cricket after his drug ban and took his 500th Test wicket there.

The Galle cricket ground was destroyed in the December 26 disaster. "It's just a matter of trying to work in between games," Warne said on Sunday.

"When you see the footage, it really is devastating and it has touched everybody.

"You want to try and do what you can and sometimes you can't do enough. "If I go over there I can put some smiles on children's faces, lend a hand and try to help out."

Warne, who increased his world record tally to 566 wickets in 120 Tests during last week's final Test against Pakistan in Sydney, said he would talk more with Muralitharan after Monday's match about the best way he could help.

Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar, who won't play in the appeal match because of an elbow injury, has still come to Australia to support the match.

Tendulkar said he wanted to be a part of the occasion even though he was unable to take part. "It is our responsibility to get together and through cricket, we can help the needy ones," Tendulkar said here on Sunday.

"Everyone understands how serious this cause is.

"To all those who've lost their dear ones and loved ones, our thoughts are with them."

The Asian XI team features a virtual who's-who of Asian cricket with skipper Sourav Ganguly, Sanath Jayasuriya, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble, Muralitharan and Tendulkar.


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