Mushfiqur Rahim: “Through the identity cricket has given us, we can touch lives and make a difference”
With less than a month to go for the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014, the International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the host nation’s event ambassadors for the tournament.
The male event ambassadors for the tournament are Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Nasir Hossain, while women’s captain Salman Khatun and Ayasha Rahman are the event ambassadors for the women’s competition, which will start in Sylhet on 23 March with the semi-finals and finals to be played ahead of the men’s matches in Colombo.
The six ambassadors will promote the tournament through a series of appearances at promotional events, including the official trophy tour and processions for the same, as well as a ‘Mini World Twenty20 tournament’ that will be held from 23 February to 6 March as part of the School-Contact Programme.
The event ambassadors will also participate in coaching clinics, which will be organised by the ICC with its charity partners as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme
Mushfiqur, speaking about his role as an event ambassador, said: “I feel privileged and honoured to be appointed as an event ambassador. The fact that this role gives me an opportunity to get closer to fans makes it extra special. I am really looking forward to the variety of activities related to this responsibility.
“Cricketers are considered as national heroes in Bangladesh, and that level of popularity reminds us of the need to give something back. Through the identity cricket has given us, we can touch lives and make a difference. As an event ambassador, I hope to put a smile on many faces.
“As a Bangladeshi, this is a moment to be proud of. We will be the cricket world’s focal point for over three weeks, and that is a testament to our organising capabilities and growing reputation as a cricket nation. This is an incomparable feeling for me.”
Bangladesh women’s captain Salma Khatun has led her country in 13 women’s T20Is. She has scored 254 runs and has taken 17 wickets.
Expressing her excitement at the opportunity to work as an event ambassador, Khatun said: “This is definitely a career highlight for me. Women’s cricket has come a long way in Bangladesh, and this is an opportunity to further promote the game and its values, especially among young girls for whom sports can be a beacon of hope.
“Playing in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014 and leading the country in front of my home crowd surpasses my wildest dreams as a child, when I was growing up in a rural area and far away from the infrastructure and facilities required to excel in sports. However, I have seen the power of the game first hand, and here I am today wearing Bangladesh colours on an international stage. As an event ambassador, I want to spread this message that the women of Bangladesh can achieve anything with a positive approach.”
Lasith Malinga and Shashikala Siriwardene were the host-country brand ambassadors for the previous edition of the ICC WT20 in Sri Lanka in 2012.