On February 8 and 9, some of the biggest former cricketing names featured in a T20 exhibition series that was played on an unusual surface – ice. Legends like Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi, Jacques Kallis, Andrew Symonds, Mike Hussey, Shoaib Akhtar and Graeme Smith had taken part in the match. Cricket in St Moritz has been played by amateur cricketers since 1988, but this is for the first time the frozen field was embraced by professionals.
The match was between Shahid Afridi’s Royals XI and Virender Sehwag’s Diamonds XI and was played on a frozen lake in St Moritz. The lake was transformed into a cricket field for the clash, with a strip of artificial turf acting as the ‘pitch’. As per the Indian Express report, the star players will be grossing $40,000-50,000 for the two encounters.
However, the whole concept is not very new as the sport has been played on ice for more than 25 years. The place is so famous that Padmaavat actor Ranveer Singh who portrayed the character of Allaudin Khilji in the movie has already played cricket at the same venue.
Ranveer Singh back in 2017 visited Switzerland and played cricket in St Moritz. The Bollywood actor had posted the video on Facebook of him playing the game. He played against Rohan Shreshtha. And the prize at stake was Dugna Lagaan.
A player in the video is heard saying,” If Ranveer wins today, what’s at stake? What if I win?” he asks. “Hum tumko dugna lagaan dega.”
Lake St Moritz is frozen for six months and can withstand 200 tons of weight which equals 33 elephants’ weight or 2600 people. Apart from cricket, other sports that are hosted there are horse racing and other adventure sports.