Great SpiritAs part of its Centenary Year in 2009, the International Cricket Council (ICC) launched `Catch the Spirit' as one of the themes for the year-long celebration. The campaign highlighted the respect, spirit and diversity in which the game is played around the world in the build up to the ICC CWC 2011, and its success has inspired a legacy of 'Great Spirit' projects across South Asia.
The list of projects supported by the ICC in the host countries, as part of the 'Great Spirit' project are listed below:
The Bangladesh Cricket Board, UNICEF Bangladesh and Cricket for Change have jointly launched the Street20 Cricket project for underprivileged youth and adolescents. The aim is to develop young sports coaches for the future from a total of 48 adolescent girls using Street20 cricket. This shortened version of cricket is six-a-side, takes 30 minutes to complete one game and can be played on a variety of surfaces. The initiative also provides the platform to deliver leadership, teamwork, physical and mental development, life-skills for the young participants around issues such as adolescent empowerment, community leadership and social changes through the power of cricket.
Community workers supporting street children in New Delhi were trained in using the game to engage with vulnerable young people forced to live on the streets. The coaches were taught how to bring young people together before offering them support and guidance around a range of non-sporting issues. These include understanding the importance of teamwork, inclusion and child protection.
24 young people, whose lives had been affected by conflict, aged between 16-18, underwent a week of training, delivered in partnership with UNICEF, Sri Lanka Cricket, Cricket for Change, Peace and Sport, the Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms and Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka, that aimed to create peer leaders who can deliver cricket programmes. The teenagers have now gone back into their communities to deliver coaching projects. After the initial pilot further education sessions have been delivered and local coaches trained up to take the programme to a wider audience.
Diversity DayThe ICC introduced an Annual Diversity Day in 2007 which aim was to highlight cricket as a game with a diverse history and a genuine social significance that goes way beyond its laws and regulations.
Cricket is a global phenomenon that brings people together in a spirit of passionate competition and mutual respect. ICC Diversity Day is aimed at celebrating cricket's rich diversity, something which facilitates the coming together of people from many countries, cultures and social backgrounds and can foster greater harmony and understanding within the community.
The inaugural ICC Diversity Day took place in South Africa in September 2007 and was created to celebrate the diversity of world cricket. This was followed in 2008 by Diversity Day activities in India, South Africa and the UAE and is now a regular feature of the international cricket calendar.
In 2009, ICC Diversity Day was celebrated during ICC Champions Trophy to highlight the fantastic work of volunteers around the globe who devote themselves to cricket. These people are crucial in preserving cricket?s special values as well as sustaining and developing the game at the grassroots and nurturing the stars of the future.
The ICC alone is reliant on hundreds of volunteers to help run major international events and so too are ICC Members. During the tournament some of the England squad took part in a diversity day activity as Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan and Joe Denly, together with fielding coach Richard Halsall, gave up their own time to run a coaching session for a diverse group of young cricketers from Gauteng Province.
Furthermore, in recognition of the achievements of volunteers ICC Centenary Medals are being presented to worthy recipients by ICC Members throughout the year as part of the ICC?s centenary celebrations. Cricket South Africa launched its involvement in this initiative by announcing its first six medal winners to receive these prestigious medals. They were Ray Mali, Geoff Dakin, SK Reddy, Joe Pamensky, Mthetheleli "Advocate" Ngumbela and Dennis Carlstein.
Tsunami appealTo raise money to support the humanitarian efforts following the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004, the International Cricket Council staged a one-day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The match, held just three weeks later, was played between a World XI and an Asian XI to a global television audience of more than 100 countries.
The ICC World XI batted first in the 50-over contest and scored 344-8, with Ricky Ponting topscoring with 115 off 102 balls.
In reply, the Asia XI was 232 all out off 39.5 overs, with Rahul Dravid scoring 75 and Daniel Vettori the pick of the bowlers with 3-58.
The match raised over US $11 million and illustrated the power of cricket to unite for important social causes.