International T20s in pipeline to aid Haiti relief efforts

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Some of the biggest names in world cricket could be gathering in the Caribbean later this year for two star-studded Twenty20 matches geared at raising funds for disaster stricken Haiti.

CMC Sports understands that the West Indies Cricket Board and cricket’s world governing body, the ICC, are currently in talks over the venture, which will be similar to the Tsunami Appeal match played five years ago in Australia to assist Asian countries devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

The matches are expected to be held in April prior to the World Twenty20 Championship scheduled for April 30 to May 16, and organisers are mulling over using Sabina Park in Jamaica and Kensington Oval in Barbados as the possible venues.

With international players already preparing to head for the Caribbean at that time, it is believed April will be the best time to host the matches. The teams have not yet been identified but are expected to comprise some major personalities.

In 2005, the Tsunami Appeal match raised millions of dollars in relief aid for affected countries, and attracted a sell-out crowd of 78,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Organisers are hoping the T20 games can play a major role in pumping desperately needed money into the ongoing disaster relief efforts in Haiti which was crippled by a 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday.

Tens of thousands are already feared dead following the quake which toppled buildings and buried residents beneath piles of rubble in the impoverished northern Caribbean nation.

Since then, a massive rescue and recovery effort has been launched by several countries and aid agencies, with several Caribbean governments already pledging monies and technical assistance.

Earlier this week, powerful FIFA vice-president Jack Warner, said he would lobby football’s world governing body for their help in the disaster relief efforts.

Warner, who is president of CONCACAF which governs the North, Central American and Caribbean region, said he would tap other agencies in the Caribbean to help with the humanitarian drive.

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