Global cricket legends unite to help disabled children
A who’s who list of 21 legendary Test cricket captains from all corners of the globe gathered in London earlier this week in support of The Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity. The glittering Macquarie-sponsored dinner, attended by over 900 guests, raised over £140,000 for the charity and brought the curtain down on the unique visit.
The gathering of such an illustrious group of players, spanning seven decades and nine nations, will perhaps never be repeated, and included the likes of Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Viv Richards, Richie Benaud, Clive Lloyd, Shaun Pollock, Ian Chappell, Sourav Ganguly, Andy Flower, Jeremy Coney, Mushtaq Mohammad, Kumar Sangakkara and David Gower.
The presence of such prolific names provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the work of The Lord’s Taverners, a charity that believes all young people should have access to sport and recreation, regardless of ability or background.
Prior to the dinner and a visit to the Prime Minister’s office at 10 Downing Street, the legends were at The Kia Oval to experience first-hand the sport of table cricket, one of The Lord’s Taverners’ core initiatives that gives severely disabled children the chance to compete in sport.
Children from William Morris School were given a master class in captaincy and teamwork by legends including Clive Lloyd, Mushtaq Mohammed, Ted Dexter and Dr. Ali Bacher while Vicki Bell, a young ambassador for The Lord’s Taverners and the Macquarie National Table Cricket Competition, gave the legends a lesson in how to play this indoor version of the game.
Sir Viv Richards, who achieved his highest Test score of 291 at The Kia Oval, said: “I’m so pleased to see the game we love being developed so that children of all abilities can take part. Quite simply, these kids could not play the traditional form of the game and it’s really through the work of The Lord’s Taverners that they have the opportunity to play, compete and enjoy it. The kids’ faces showed just how much they took from the day, as did ours!”
Paul Robin, CEO of The Lord’s Taverners, added: “To muster such a stellar list of cricketing legends for this truly once-in-a-lifetime occasion has been phenomenal and demonstrates just what we love about the game. Their visit here, together with the funds raised, will make a very tangible and lasting impact to many more thousands of young people, helping them to get active and to enjoy sporting and recreational opportunities.”