Ex-Black Caps to play game on frozen lake

Former Black Caps stars Dan Vettori, Nathan McCullum and Grant Elliott will all take part in the...
Former Black Caps stars Dan Vettori, Nathan McCullum and Grant Elliott will all take part in the Ice Cricket tournament, now in its 26th year. Photo: Getty
They have combined international experience of almost 700 matches, yet three former New Zealand cricket stars will soon play in a tournament unlike any they have encountered before - on a frozen lake at the foot of the Swiss Alps.

Former Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori, and all-rounders Nathan McCullum and Grant Elliott will feature in two T20 matches for a team called the Royals in the annual 'Ice Cricket' festival in St Moritz, Switzerland.

The event, now in its 26th year, is described as "Cricket On Top Of The World" and will be held in early February with two matches between the Royals and the Palace Diamonds played on the frozen St Moritz lake.

"The lake freezes into an extremely thick layer of ice which then is covered by the soft falling snow, enabling the lake to withstand more than 200 tons of weight," organisers said in a statement.

"This makes it the perfect area to construct a pavilion village and grandstands to watch and support the festivities."

Matches are played with a red ball and traditional cricket gear, but players aren't allowed to wear spiked cricket shoes.

The "pitch" consists of an artificial turf carpet laid out on the groomed snow. The rest of the field is entirely covered in snow.

The tournament is the brainchild of businessmen Vijay Singh and Akhilesh Bahuguna.

It has been approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and will for the first time in its history feature current and former world stars.

Joining the Kiwi trio will be Australian great Mike Hussey, Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi, South Africans Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, Virender Sehwag (India), Lasith Malinga and Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), Owais Shah and Monty Panesar (England) and Dwayne Bravo (West Indies).

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