Jason Behrendorff has spoken about his personal connection to the devastating East Coast bushfires as he prepares to reveal his full team for next month’s charity T20 match at the WACA Ground.
Behrendorff has joined forces with retired Wildcat Greg Hire for Boundaries 4 Bushfires on February 7.
The pair, alongside WACA chief executive Christina Matthews, stepped out at the WACA Ground to promote the initiative today, with Hire revealing Behrendorff was on the phone pledging his support five minutes after he put a tweet out suggesting a charity cricket match.
Behrendorff was soon announced as one of the two coaches, alongside fellow Perth Scorcher AJ Tye.
And while Hire is letting Behrendorff and Tye select their own teams from a host of sporting and media personalities, he did have one request.
“I did say I’m definitely on his (Behrendorff’s) team and Mitchell Johnson’s on our team too, so that’s the one thing I made sure of,” Hire said.
Behrendorff said he would soon finalise his line-up, joking he was keen to have as much firepower as possible on Team Red.
“Greg alluded to (the fact) his one stipulation was that he wanted to be on the same team as Mitch Johnson, so if Greg’s on my team, it looks like I’ve got Mitch as well and we’ll hand the next pick over to AJ,” Behrendorff said. “My guess might be that he picks someone like Luke Shuey, being an avid West Coast fan.
“It’s a lot of fun. At the end of the day it’s not about who wins or loses. We’re raising money for a really important cause.
“My (coaching) style is very relaxed but I have heard AJ is keen to make his team run a 2km time trial so I think everyone wants to be on Team Red now.”
Behrendorff said he had been personally touched by the bushfires.
“It’s pretty close to home,with all my immediate family still back living in Canberra, a lot of my good mates are still in the Canberra region as well,” he said. “There are a lot of them that I’ve seen on Facebook checking in safe and that sort of thing.
“A mate of mine who plays for the Sydney Sixers, Sean Abbott, his mum’s place is quite close to one of the areas that was really affected. Seeing first-hand photos as opposed to some of the ones you see in the newspaper… it’s devastating.
“So it’s very close to home for me and to support, in whatever way we can, is something I’m really passionate about.”
Tickets are available here.