Sunday, May 31, 2020 | ePaper

Cricket showcases plight of globe's street children

  • Print




Bangladeshi youngsters singing "We want our rights" was the backdrop to the inaugural Street Child Cricket World Cup, bringing together teams from across the world to raise awareness of the plight of marginalised children.
Eight mixed-sex teams competed in the university city of Cambridge over the weekend, with the action moving to the home of cricket at Lord's for finals day on Tuesday, where India South were crowned champions.
But it was difficult even getting the players to Britain for the event, with teams representing countries as far-flung as England, Mauritius and Nepal.
Bangladesh's team leader Forhad Hossain had to go to court to be recognised as the legal guardian of the children so they could obtain passports.
Both Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo were no-shows due to the lengthy visa process.
The tournament is the brainchild of John Wroe, the CEO and co-founder of Street Child United, a British charity that uses sport to change the negative perceptions and treatment of "street-connected" children.
It is the first to be hosted in Britain -- there have been three football versions in South Africa, Brazil and Russia.
Nizam, 15, was wrapped in a Bangladeshi flag and sported a bandana with his country's colours on it, showing his patriotism despite a life on the margins.
It still pains him that he ended up on the streets collecting garbage aged seven after a disagreement with his mother -- his father had remarried -- and he told AFP he has no contact with either her or his three older surviving siblings.
However, now he is on the right path and is attending school thanks to the efforts of Hossain and the organisation he founded -- LEEDO (Local Education and Economic Development Organisation).
"I have 54 brothers and sisters," said Nizam, referring to the other children who live in the LEEDO Peace Home.
"I spend my free time now going round the bus, ferry and train stations talking to the homeless children who congregate there and trying to motivate them to be part of the Schools Under the Sky project."
Hossain said he and his fellow LEEDO workers have rescued around 2,000 children over the past four years.
Nizam, who hopes to become an art student, is keen to use the platform gained from performing at the World Cup to lobby politicians when he returns home.
"The politicians don't talk with the children, they only have time for politics and not social causes," he said.
"When I go back I will try and communicate with policymakers and ministers and influence them to try to make a law for children of the paths," added Nizam, who prefers the term to street children.

More News For this Category

Fans could return for 20-21 season: Premier League chief

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said on Friday that fans could be allowed to attend top-flight matches in the 2020-21 season on a "phased basis".The Premier League plans to

West Indies approve 'bio-secure' Test tour of England

AFP  :West Indies cricket chiefs on Friday gave their approval to a Test tour of England where the team will stay in a "bio-secure environment."The Windies were due to play

Ashraful becomes father of a baby boy

Ashraful becomes father of a baby boy

Sports Reporter :Former national cricketer Mohammad Ashraful became father of a baby boy on Friday last. It is his second baby. Earlier, Mohammad Ashraful became father in 2016. She is

Staging T20 World Cup 'very high risk', admits Cricket Australia

Cricket Australia (CA) has called the staging of the T20 World Cup this year a "very high risk", ostensibly shifting its focus towards the Test series in December-January against India

Australia set dates for Covid-threatened India cricket tour

Australia set dates for Covid-threatened India cricket tour

Agency :Australia announced dates for India's lucrative Test cricket tour as the centrepiece of a busy home season on Thursday, but admitted that plans remained in flux because of

Morgan suggests Alex Hales` return to England set-up `might take some more time`

Morgan suggests Alex Hales` return to England set-up `might take some more time`

Agency :England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan has hinted that Alex Hales may need to wait a little longer before returning to the international fold.There has been some speculation that,

Ashraful born for playing cricket: Mashrafe

Ashraful born for playing cricket: Mashrafe

Sports Reporter :Former captain of Bangladesh National Cricket team Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said, " Mohammad Ashraful was born for playing cricket."On Wednesday in an interview with You Tube, Mashrafe

T20 World Cup in Australia set to be postponed, official announcement this week

T20 World Cup in Australia set to be postponed, official announcement this week

cricketnext.com :The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia is all set to be postponed, according to a report in Times of India. The tournament is currently scheduled to

Williamson expresses his interest to play in BPL

Williamson expresses his interest to play in BPL

BSS, Dhaka :New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who was the fifth foreign guest in 'Tamim Iqbal's Live Show', expressed his interests to play the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the

ICC cricket committee dissuades use of saliva to shine ball

ICC cricket committee dissuades use of saliva to shine ball

Agency :The cricket committee of the ICC has officially recommended that saliva must not be used to shine the ball in light of the health and safety risk it