The International Cricket Council announced the three Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnerships that will feature during the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in England and Wales.
The ICC will once again be working with Room to Read and will also partner with UNAIDS and UNICEF to deliver the global cricket AIDS awareness partnership ThinkWise. The organisations will be joined for this tournament by 'Chance to Shine', the Cricket Foundation's programme responsible for getting cricket back into state schools across England and Wales.
During the tournament the ICC will work with the three partners hosting a variety of coaching clinics and visits involving players from the eight participating teams, while also providing tickets to matches and highlighting each of the initiatives at various match days throughout the event.
At this year's ICC Champions Trophy, the ICC will celebrate its 10-year association with UNAIDS to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS which ultimately led to the foundation of the ThinkWise partnership with UNAIDS, UNICEF and the ICC in 2009. To celebrate that partnership, the ICC will be dedicating the final of the tournament to the ThinkWise campaign.
The other two initiatives, of Room to Read and Chance to Shine will also be show-cased at a number of matches throughout the tournament.
Room to Read is a global non-profit organisation, working to promote literacy and gender equality in education across Asia and Africa. Room to Read began its operations in 2000 and, to date, has reached more than seven million children globally by empowering them with quality education. It aims to reach 10 million children by 2015. Room to Read commenced its association with the ICC in 2011 with the vision to benefit children in cricket playing nations and enhance cricket?s positive contribution to local communities.
ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson, said of the three partnerships for the tournament: "I am delighted once again that the ICC is partnering with ThinkWise along with Room to Read to continue promoting both the importance of HIV and AIDS awareness and the education of children around the globe.
"We are also happy to welcome Chance to Shine, an ECB supported initiative run by the Cricket Foundation to help continue building a legacy of promoting cricket and creating opportunities amongst the younger generations in England and Wales."
Wasim Khan, Chief Executive of Chance to Shine, said: "We're delighted to be selected as a local charity partner for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. Chance to Shine is keeping cricket alive in UK schools, bringing cricket to two million young people and teaching them key life skills such as team work, leadership and respect.
"Our campaign is inspiring children through cricket and what better way to excite them about the game than having the best international teams competing on home soil this summer."
Meanwhile, Dr Geetha Murali, Chief Development Officer for Room to Read, added: "Room to Read is thrilled to be an ICC charity partner at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. In a few short years, our partnership has benefited thousands of children through the establishment of libraries and publication of children's books.
"The magic of cricket is one that speaks strongly to children across many of the countries where we work. Through this partnership, our ambassadors Virat Kohli, Angelo Mathews and Shane Watson are actively promoting reading to inspire children to open up their books and minds, and ensuring that children can benefit from the power of education. We are thankful that cricket has become such a transformative and unique tool in our fight against illiteracy."
Senior Advisor to the UNAIDS Executive Director, Djibril Diallo, commented: ?Like cricket, the partnership with ICC is about getting results. As we mark 10 years of action on AIDS through cricket, we have seen how cricket can unite billions of people across the globe. Through the ThinkWise global cricket AIDS partnership, we continue to encourage young people to get the facts, protect themselves and be leaders in eliminating stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV."
Craig McClure, UNICEF HIV and AIDS Chief, added: "UNICEF has been a longstanding supporter of the ICC/ThinkWise partnership and over the past seven years we have worked together towards achieving an AIDS Free Generation throughout the world. We have come a long way, but the battle against AIDS is not over yet. The ongoing commitment to preventing HIV and breaking down the stigma towards children and families who are affected is critical."
The ICC Champions Trophy, featuring Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies, will be played across three world-class venues - Cardiff Wales Stadium, Edgbaston and The Oval - over 18 days from 6 to 23 June.