Dubai : The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reaffirmed its commitment to the spirit of cricket and bringing about positive social change through the sport as they have launched Cricket for Good and Team Swachh campaign in partnership with UNICEF and the BCCI.
Team Swachh, which is the first of a series of collaborations between the ICC and UNICEF under the aegis of Cricket for Good, aims to build a social movement for sanitation and toilet use, thereby leading to an open defecation-free India.
Expressing his views on the launch, ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson said they are committed to work with UNICEF, with an aim to improve the health, education, nutrition, protection and sanitation of children.
“ICC and UNICEF together will engage the broader cricketing community to empower children and adolescents and will, in particular, during the many ICC events over the next five years, develop and implement various community outreach programs and initiatives in collaboration with coaches, cricketers and cricketing personalities,” Richardson said.
“Building up to the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016, there will be an eight host city tour starting next month that will use exciting cricket-based sanitation and hygiene games to engage with school children. During the event itself, there will be coaching clinics with participating teams.”
The initial focus of the collaboration in India will be to improve sanitation. With the largest number of people still defecating in the open, more than 564 million – poor sanitation can cause diarrhea, which accounts for more than 300 deaths in children under five years every day in India.
The idea of team and team play is at the core of the Team Swachh initiative. And it starts with the power of cricket teams and the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016. For the event teams and any other team to be successful, all the different members – different players, coaches, doctors, etc. have to work together to achieve their goal.
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, said, “Similarly, ending open defecation-achieving sanitation for all in India, takes a genuine team effort in which all relevant actors – from the Government of India to people practicing open defecation, from role models to international development partners – play together as one team.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Anurag Thakur said that the BCCI is pleased to join hands with ICC, UNICEF and take forward the initiative of ‘Swachh Bharat’ started by honourable India Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Team Swachh presents a creative and collaborative platform to make the nationwide movement a resounding success. The ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 will bring together the collective efforts of the BCCI, ICC and UNICEF towards the mission with the help of awareness programmes.”
“I’m sure that the coaching clinics, which will see active participation from the leading cricketers of the world, will inspire and encourage my fellow Indian citizens to contribute to this wonderful initiative,” he added.
UNICEF regional director for South Asia, Karin Hulshof said he hopes that this collaboration would help to harness the reach and power of cricket. (ANI)