Zimbabwe cricketers wow students

For the 20 selected students — a mix of boys and girls, who either wielded the willow or bowled a spell — it was a different and thrilling experience as the Zimbabwe coach, Dav Whatmore, kept them in good humour, giving useful tips on the finer aspects of the game and also stressing on the importance of being clean for everybody’s good.

A student of the Zilla Parishad (Ex-Government) High School bats in a friendly match, as Zimbabwean cricketers Sean Williams (left) and Tendai Chatara look on at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur. This was part of a joint campaign by the ICC Cricket for Good, UNICEF and the BCCI, stressing on the importance of sanitation and cleanliness.   -  K. R. DEEPAK

High on confidence following their two consecutive wins in the league phase of the qualifiers of the on-going ICC World Twenty20, a few Zimbabwean cricketers, including captain Hamilton Masakadza, top-order batsman Sean Williams and fast bowler Tendai Chatara played in a ‘friendly’ cricket match featuring the students of the local Zilla Parishad (Ex-Government) High School. This was to express solidarity for the ICC Cricket for Good and Team Swachh campaign, a CSR initiative during the on-going cricketing extravaganza at the Vidarbha Cricket Association here on Friday.

Team Swachh is the first in a series of collaborations between the ICC Cricket for Good, UNICEF and the BCCI to use the reach and appeal of cricket in India for engaging children and adolescents on sanitation and use of toilets.

For the 20 selected students — a mix of boys and girls, who either wielded the willow or bowled a spell — it was a different and thrilling experience as the Zimbabwe coach, Dav Whatmore, kept them in good humour, giving useful tips on the finer aspects of the game and also stressing on the importance of being clean for everybody’s good.

Masakadza delighted the young participants with his ‘friendly’ bowling, allowing them to hit him for a couple of boundaries.

Kushi Ranam, a Standard IX student whose previous experience at the venue was watching Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Indian team in action sometime ago, was delighted to get the feel of the turf. “It was a double delight for me. To be part of this wonderful campaign and experience what it is like playing there,” she said later.

The gesture of the Zimbabwe players, who took a break from their practice session ahead of the crucial match against Afghanistan on Saturday, floored the event organisers and the students.

For Abhishek Thoolkar, a Standard VIII student, it was a memorable experience. “Now I want to become a cricketer. Having watched these Zimbabweans I am inspired by the experience,” he said.

Later, the students demonstrated five steps of staying clean with their hands, which they felt would be the first major step towards ensuring safe health.