The International Cricket Council (ICC) in partnership with Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket, has decided to contribute $ 260,000 from the ongoing World Cup proceeds, to UNICEF’s relief efforts aimed at reviving the cyclone hit island of Vanuatu. Last Friday, Cyclone Pam struck the island nation and claimed at least 10 lives. The archipelago has experienced widespread damage and relief is pouring in from all over the world.
Cricket has made strides in Vanuatu ever since the game was first introduced back in 2000. ICC has been funding several programs in the island nation and the number of participants has grown from 200 to 20,000. Both men and women have taken an interest in the game. In fact, a new four-lane net facility was nearing completion in Port Vila when Cyclone Pam wreaked havoc.
Meanwhile, the situation in Vanuatu is grim. The extent of damage can be established from the fact that not a single leaf is visible on local trees. Crops have been destroyed, houses have been torn apart, and even cellphone network has taken a beating. Large white colored H’s have been marked on the ground by people, asking for help.
Besides pledging $ 260,000 to the cyclone affected island nation, ICC has also urged the international community to donate whatever it can to speed up recovery at Vanuatu. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is currently being played in Australia and New Zealand. ICC’s wonderful gesture, in co-operation with CA and New Zealand Cricket, is sign of how cricket can prove to be more than just a game in days of dire straits.