Two matches have been announced to help raise funds for people affected by the devastating bushfires currently raging around Australia.
On February 28, the AFL will recreate the iconic State of Origin matches when a Victoria plays an All-Stars team at Marvel Stadium. Before that, the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide will switch sports and play a T20 cricket match at Adelaide Oval.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan announced the State of Origin match along with a donation of $2.5 million from the league, clubs and the AFL Players Association. The game will take place at Marvel Stadium and will be part of a doubleheader with an AFLW match.
Collingwood and Melbourne have had their round four match moved from Victoria Park to create a spectacular evening of football that will bring in much-needed funds for bushfire relief.
McLachlan commented, "Our industry is heartbroken by the devastation that the fires are causing around the country and our clubs and players have suggested a number of initiatives where we can support affected communities in the short and longer term as they deal with the aftermath of these fires.
"A game of footy can't change what has happened, but it is a way for all of our clubs, our players and our fans to acknowledge the incredible sacrifice that so many have made in battling the fires and to support those communities that have been impacted by the bushfires."
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With the AFL season just three weeks later than the game, and teams taking part in the pre-season Marsh Community Series, each team will contribute a maximum of three players.
It is the first time that a game like this has been played since 2008 and players were supportive of the move to raise funds from such a match. The game will be televised on free-to-air as well as other channels and radio stations.
Before that, a cricket match is being played at Adelaide Oval to raise funds for families affected by bushfires in South Australia. SACA, SANFL, Adelaide Football Club and Port Adelaide Football Club have joined up to create the event on February 2.
One hundred percent of the net proceeds will go to SA’s bushfire appeal. Teams are yet to be announced, but Travis Head has already committed to play for Port Adelaide, who he supports, alongside players Tom Jonas and Travis Boak. The Crows have Rory Sloane and Taylor Walker committed to play.