Before the mouth-watering 50-over World Cup begins on May 30 in England, a World Cup for street children will be played at Lord’s, London, next month, with IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals backing the Indian team.
The Street Child Cricket World Cup 2019 (SCCWC) is the first such venture for street-connected children. India is set to send two teams, with India North being put together by Save the Children and The HOPE Foundation. The team is being sponsored by PTC India Financial Services Ltd., who are supporting the children’s participation along with creating national and international visibility of Children in Street Situation.
On Tuesday, Rajasthan Royals invited Team India-North players to Jaipur to visit their practice session ahead of their April 11 match against Chennai Super Kings and get guidance from the coaching team at the famous Sawai Mansingh Stadium. The Royals welcomed Team India-North players Soni Khatoon, Anjali Paswan, Mohammed Waaris and Tarak Sardar, all aged between 14-17 years, in a gender-equal team to witness the net sessions and tutored them on some basic techniques and tips that could be useful when they play at Lord’s.
The highlight of the day was an interactive session of team Royals with the SCCWC team of passionate, bright, young boys and girls, all of who come from Kolkata. The team is also being mentored by their Goodwill Ambassador, Sourav Ganguly, in Kolkata.
A session with Royal coaches was conducted for the kids, giving them valuable tips for the game as well as important life lessons. The coaches commended their spirit and encouraged them to keep following their dreams and bring back glory to the country and the team they represent.
“It is a proud moment for us to have met this group of amazing children who are being supported by Save the Children and Hope Foundation in their journey. Their spirit, drive and confidence is taking them to the hallowed turf of Lord’s and we are sure it is going to be an incredible experience for them. We, the Rajasthan Royals wish Team India North all the best. We will be cheering for you! Good luck!” said Ranjit Barthakur, Executive Chairman, Rajasthan Royals.
“We thank the players and management of Rajasthan Royals for their support and for recognising that every child is a champion and has the potential to achieve their dreams. The first ever street child World Cup is a chance to make their dream come true and with the support of partners like Rajasthan Royals the team is ready to take on Lord’s where they will not only get a chance to play a historic tournament but also raise their voice at a global stage about challenges faced and solution they seek,” said Pragya Vats of Save the Children.
Geeta Venkadakrishnan, Director, Hope Foundation, said: “For the children, this comes as a lifetime opportunity to not just play the game at an international level, but also meet such legends of cricket and be taught the game by them. Their support will add significant value and encouragement to the team and instil more focus, passion and commitment to the game.”
The tournament is being organised by Street Child United (SCU), a UK based organization, which has a legacy of holding street child tournaments around major sporting festivals like FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Olympics in Brazil, FIFA World Cup Russia and more. The SCCWC will give an opportunity to street connected children from nine countries to play at the prestigious Lord’s Cricket Ground. The tournament aims to unite people from various nations and spotlight the life of #TheInvisibles (street connected children). Off the pitch, the young people will make their voices heard and make recommendations to help improve the lives of street children worldwide.