ICC bats for a cause

Updated: 03 January 2008 14:01 IST

The International Cricket Council asked spectators and cricketers attending the Boxing Day test in Melbourne for any old equipment that can be spared.

ICC bats for a cause

Melbourne:

The International Cricket Council asked spectators and cricketers attending the Boxing Day test in Melbourne for any old equipment that can be spared.

It's an ICC initiative that began in 1996 and in these 10 years, participation in the region has grown from 5,000 to 35,000. That's thanks in no small part to this equipment drive that's been held at the last 3 Melbourne tests and has collected over 1000 bats, balls, pads and gloves.

Tom has come with his father to watch day 2 of the Boxing Day test at the MCG. But he's also here to help promote the game of cricket in other parts of the world. The equipment he's donated will be shipped out to countries in the Asia-Pacific region. That means budding cricketers in Fiji, Samoa Tonga and Papua New Guinea amongst other countries will be able to improve their game.

"These people are very passionate about their cricket, they have their idols just like us and they watch cricket too. So, they get a real buzz if they know they're using Ponting's bat or the same make as Sachin Tendulkar," said Matt Weisheit, ICC, East Asia-Pacific.

This initiative is in stark contrast to what happened to the Cuban cricket team a few weeks ago who were barred from participating in the Stanford 20-20 tournament a few weeks ago because of a long standing political embargo.

The ICC has also faced similar problems with some of the countries in the East Asia Pacific region. But even a military coup in Fiji hasn't stopped the international body from continuing to send in equipment and coaches to help develop skills and grow the game. But their efforts aren't just overseas.

"I've donated several times and I believe my stuff has gone to central Australia where it will help the indigenous communities," said a donor.

The ICC is also encouraging former cricketers to send in their old, unused equipment. The Victoria state team has done its bit, and they're now hoping the visiting Indian's will also oblige!

"It would be wonderful if I could get an autographed bat from Sachin Tendulkar, some lucky bloke somewhere in the world will be a mighty thrilled recipient!" said Matt Weisheit.

But it doesn't even need a Sachin Tendulkar bat to make that difference; anyone's will do just as well. Its all for a good cause!



Topics : Cricket
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