Wednesday October 12, 2005
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced a major contribution to the Red Cross Asia Quake Appeal to support the relief efforts in the affected areas.
The ICC also announced that Saturday, 15 October 2005, day two of the Johnnie Walker Super Series Test match, will be dedicated to helping the victims of the quake.
The ICC, the Australian Red Cross, the global Red Cross/Red Crescent and the Host Broadcaster, Channel 9 will join forces to help raise funds for the relief efforts in the region during the day.
To kick start the appeal the ICC Executive Board announced an immediate donation of US$500,000 from the proceeds of the Super Series to Australian Red Cross.
On 15 October, the ICC and the Australian Red Cross, with the support of the event Host Broadcaster, Channel 9, will also run a number of activities at the ground and through the telecast to help encourage people to donate to the Appeal.
A toll free number for Australian residents - 1800 811 700 - will be displayed during the telecast to allow donations to be made to the Australian Red Cross while overseas viewers will be able to make a donation by going to the Australian Red Cross website - www.redcross.org.au - which will link to a number of Red Cross/Red Crescent websites around the world for donations to be made in a specific country.
At the venue, activities on the Replay Screen, the Public Address system and on-field activities will be used to help encourage spectators and TV audiences to make a donation.
This initiative was agreed at the ICC's Board meeting in Sydney, which concluded on Tuesday, to help alleviate suffering caused by the earthquake, with Pakistan and India among the worst affected countries.
Cricket plays a pivotal role in the lives of many people in India, Pakistan and other areas affected by the earthquake. In a strange twist of fate, in Muzaffarabad, the town severely affected by the quake, the International Red Cross identified the town's cricket ground as the best site for the emergency field hospital which will be set up there and operational very soon. The tented hospital has a full range of medical facilities and a capacity of 100 beds.
ICC President Ehsan Mani, who hails from Rawalpindi, one of the areas affected by the earthquake, said: 'In matters such as this, where our member countries have been so directly and critically affected, it is vital that the ICC and cricket uses its influence to be a force for good.'
Dale Cleaver, Acting CEO of Australian Red Cross expressed gratitude to the ICC for their generous contribution and urged the public to get behind the Red Cross Asia Quake Appeal and appeals of all other Australian aid organisations raising funds to help the survivors.
'The ICC is showing the way for all of us. This is a massive disaster affecting millions, and the US$ 500,000 injection will go a long way towards the relief effort. But the needs are indeed much greater than initially anticipated and I urge the public to show their compassion yet again and make their own contribution,' said Mr Cleaver.