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Sri Lanka

Asian girls scoring high during Asia Cup

© UNICEF Sri Lanka/2004/Sheikh
A young Indian fan celebrates a scoring shot.

COLOMBO, 27 July 2004 – Girls in South Asia are scoring high as cricket fans celebrate their team’s successes by waving ‘Fair Play for Girls’ placards, during this year’s Asia Cup.

The Asia Cup is one of the most popular cricket tournaments in the region. This year’s tournament, which is organized by the Asian Cricket Council, features messages of support for ‘Fair Play for Girls’ – UNICEF’s campaign for equal access to education for girls and boys in South Asia.

The Asia Cup is being hosted by the Asian Cricket Club of Sri Lanka.  The tournament began in early June and includes teams from Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.  The final match is scheduled for 1 August 2004.

© UNICEF Sri Lanka/2004/Sheikh
ESPN anchorman, former cricketer and National Ambassador for UNICEF Ravi Shastri with a young supporter of the ‘Fair Play for Girls’ campaign.

Fans from all sides, regardless of which national team they support, are excited about the ‘Fair Play for Girls’ campaign. The Asian Cricket Council is partnering with UNICEF to lend its support.

Last June, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), organizers of the Asia Cup, entered into a partnership with UNICEF to support girls’ education. The ACC represents 20 cricket boards and aims to promote and develop the sport.

Such is the passion for cricket here that everything is put on hold while a big game is on. Cricket has huge popularity in the region; the massive number of fans ensures that the ‘Fair Play for Girls’ messages in the stadiums and in the commentary are reaching millions.

An estimated 46 million children are out of school, the majority of them girls. Lack of education perpetuates poverty, and poverty provides fertile ground for instability, disease and economic destitution. The number of girls who are not in school in Asia is a major obstacle for development.
The Asian Cricket Council recognises the need and joins with UNICEF to highlight and promote, through cricket matches and associated events, the right of equal access to education.



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