ICC extends partnership with UNICEF for Women’s World T20

Dubai:  The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that it has extended its partnership with UNICEF through to the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 with the focus on empowering women and girls through cricket.

During the Men’s 50-over World Cup held in England and Wales earlier this summer, UNICEF raised $180,000 as part of ‘One Day 4 Children’ and this money will go directly to fund a girls’ cricket project in Afghanistan, said ICC in a media release.

The program which will run for 12 months, will comprise a new competitive cricket competition for school-aged girls as well as training for 120 teachers and providing cricket equipment to deliver cricket and a community outreach program working with elders to reinforce the positive impact girls playing cricket can have.

The money raised during the Women’s World T20 will go to similar projects in cricket playing nations, including an innovative program to promote girls’ participation in cricket in Sri Lanka and build peace in communities.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with UNICEF to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. I want us to harness the extraordinary reach of our sport to empower women and girls around the world through cricket and using ICC events as a fundraising platform enables us to do that,” said ICC CEO Manu Sawhney.

“Sport for development and in particular cricket can be a powerful tool to transform lives and the projects in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are designed to have a long-term positive impact with teachers being trained to deliver cricket to girls for years to come.”

UNICEF Australia Chair Ann Sherry AO said: “Cricket has tremendous power to make a difference in the lives of children, especially girls, by building leadership skills, empowering them to achieve their goals and building bridges within communities — so that we can ultimately build a better world together.”

“We are excited to partner with the ICC on the Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 and enormously proud that Australia is hosting this important event for women.”

The ICC and UNICEF partnership commenced in 2015, as part of the ICC’s global community outreach program ‘Cricket 4 Good’. The partnership and public donations continue to bring positive change to children through the programs in cricket playing nations focused on empowering women and girls in cricket.

The Women’s World T20 will take place across Australia from February 21-March 8, culminating in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 8 — International Women’s Day.

10 teams will contest a total of 23 matches in six host cities, starting with a blockbuster match-up between hosts Australia and India at Sydney Showground Stadium on February 21, 2020.

Later in 2020, the Men’s World T20 will take place in Australia, from October 18-November 15, comprising 16 teams contesting 45 matches in seven host cities.

(IANS)

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