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England’s Cricketers Go To Bat For The Hungry

The England cricket team is using the international Twenty/20 tournament in England this summer to raise awareness about hunger. It's the latest initiative in an ongoing 'Cricket Against Hunger' partnership with WFP. Watch video

LONDON -- Cricket lovers around the world – and particularly in the UK – will see their favourite players sporting Cricket Against Hunger team shirts during the upcoming tournament, which is expected to be watched by millions.

As the players limbered up in their new shirts this week, the media were invited to see them at the prestigious England Cricket Board (ECB) training ground in Loughborough.

The shirts’ Cricket against Hunger logo, prominently displayed on the all-important batting arm, bears witness to a successful partnership with WFP, which began in 2006.

"Proud to wear emblem"

Kevin Pietersen, a leading player in the England squad, said he would be proud to wear the shirts.   “We are very fortunate here in UK to wake up in the morning, have food, have lunch, have dinner – all of which we take for granted… being involved in this programme is huge for us.”

He said that while on a cricket tour in Sri Lanka in 2007, he and some team mates had visited one of WFP’s school feeding projects in Galle, which had “really opened our eyes” to hunger.

Pietersen and the England coach, Andy Flower, told a press conference that the players themselves had benefited from Cricket Against Hunger. Read ECB news release

Met poor schoolchildren

They had enjoyed taking time out from a busy schedule of matches to meet poor schoolchildren in countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – where the game is followed with huge national fervour.

In some cases playing cricket with the kids had had a profound effect on the squad, who had also raised money to maintain a feeding programme for 300 school children in Sri Lanka for one year.