"MR CRICKET" Mike Hussey and Phil Hughes, the man who replaced Ricky Ponting in the Australian Test team, have been announced as the latest additions to Ponting's testimonial game at Launceston's Aurora Stadium this month, Big Bash League commitments pending.
Hussey, who retired from international cricket last year, and Hughes play for Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers respectively, and their availability could hinge on whether their franchises qualify for the semi-finals of that competition, which start on February 4.
Hussey's attendance at Aurora is the more likely of the two, with the Thunder having lost its past 16 games and sitting bottom of the ladder heading into last night's clash with Perth Scorchers, while the Strikers are second on the table.
The duo join a star- studded cricketing line-up of Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ed Cowan, Brett Lee (who also plays in the BBL), Damien Fleming, Greg Blewett, Dean Jones, all- rounder Andrew Symonds and Ian Healy for the Twenty20 match under lights from 7.15pm.
It was also confirmed yesterday that there will be a strong AFL contingent in the game, with Hawthorn's Jarryd Roughead and premiership skipper Luke Hodge to grace the Aurora turf in cricket spikes instead of football boots.
North Melbourne, Tasmania's other AFL tenant and Ponting's own team, is likely to be represented by Brent Harvey and Drew Petrie, with Tasmanian Jack Riewoldt and his Richmond teammate Brett Deledio also keen to play, but they will need to get clearance from their clubs.
Launceston's world champion boxer Daniel Geale will also play, subject to the confirmation of his next fight, and there will be two places for young Tasmanian cricketers, who will be announced on Tuesday.
The squad will be split into two teams captained by Ponting and Adam Gilchrist on Thursday.