From the streets of Kolkata to Lords, the Wild Frontiers Foundation was bowled over tp support members of Team North India at the 2019 Street Child Cricket World Cup.
Supporting our friends and charity partner The Hope Foundation, the Wild Frontiers Foundation helped to fund the players to travel to London to participate in the inaugural event, which saw the final played at Lords, the home of cricket.
We were thrilled to assist HOPE and offer the young people the chance to not only show off their cricketing prowess, but offer them the opportunity to be ambassadors and the voices for street children across the world.
Four teenagers, Anjali, Millie, Jabir and Tarak, who live within HOPE’s care in Kolkata, joined the North India team to take on other teams from Bangladesh, South India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, England, Mauritius, Nepal and Tanzania to battle it out for the Street Child Cricket World Cup title.
Our sponsorship helped HOPE, which works with street and slum connected children in Kolkata, to obtain birth certificates, passports and visas; fund flights, sports kit, accommodation and accompanying carers to look after the children.
Obtaining birth certificates was just the first step towards recognising that these children are people not statistics. As Team North India captain Tarak put it, “when I’m playing cricket I no longer feel like a street child, I feel like an athlete.”
In the cricket action itself, Team North India narrowly missed out on making the semi finals, but managed to beat Team Nepal with some fantastic batting and some wonderful bowling and fielding, finishing fifth out of the eight teams participating. But the real pleasure was to witness the confidence of some truly inspirational cricketers, who far from being intimidated by playing cricket on the world's biggest stage, rose to the occasion like they were born to do it. In doing so they helped raise the profile of millions of other children sharing their plight.
That wasn’t the end of their involvement though, as before the final itself, team captain Tarak got to ring Lords’ famed five-minute bell, whilst star batter Anjali read out the Street Child’s World Cup charter.
Team South India proceeded to do India proud and win a close and hard-fought game against England, which was worthy of any final at Lords.
In the words of Monisha from the South India winning team, "If you respect us, you will listen to us, if you listen to us you will protect us. Please protect us!"
All at Wild Frontiers felt privileged be a part of the action.