Sports stars rally to aid bushfire relief

The ongoing fundraising to aid the victims of the Australian bushfires has received further high-profile support from local and global sporting stars.

Sports stars from home and abroad are coming together to raise money in aid of the bushfire relief efforts across Australia.

Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley announced on Wednesday that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios will headline a charity exhibition event called Rally for Relief on Rod Laver Arena.

Australian Open tournament organiser Tiley also told reporters that Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniaki and Stefanos Tsitsipas will also take part in the event to be held on the evening of January 15.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg announced the opening week of the 2020 season will be a dedicated Bushfire Appeal Round to raise money for those affected.

The NRL's plan will form part of a whole-of-game approach with the Queensland Rugby League , NSW Rugby League and the Rugby League Players Association working to devise a plan to maximise fundraising.

Rugby league's assistance comes as the AFL and Cricket Australia are considering hosting special fundraising matches next month.

An AFL State of Origin match could be held late in February, according to the Herald Sun, while the Sydney Morning Herald reports Cricket Australia will confirm a match as a curtain-raiser to the Big Bash League final on February 8.

Cricket legends Shane Warne and Jeff Thomson are auctioning their prized baggy green caps, joining a host of Australian sports stars who have joined the cause during the past week.

The latest bid for Warne's treasured piece of memorabilia stands at $510,000, ahead of Friday's deadline.

Australian Test captain Tim Paine and offspinner Nathan Lyon visited fire-affected areas in NSW on Wednesday.

"We thought it was an important time for us to come out and say G'day and thank them," Paine said.

Nine Australian NBA stars have banded together to donate more than $1 million.

Meanwhile, four Australian Baseball League matches between hosts Canberra and Adelaide scheduled for the nation's capital have been scrapped due to the poor air quality caused by the bushfires.

The series will be shared, according to ABL rules, with the Cavalry and Giants awarded two wins apiece.


AAP