Cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka. It is a religion for the faithful and the nation are justifiably proud of their national team’s achievements.
And while Sri Lanka hosted the Cricket world cup as recently as 2011 and there is a thriving professional league, the most visible cricket is the interminable games in every school, playground or scrap of flat earth that will provide an imaginary pitch.
Sadly this abundance of passion for the sport is not matched by the resources available to schools or clubs – junior and adult.
Witnessing this dichotomy on a recent business trip, Mark Edwards, a director in ACS Supply Chain Management and a keen cricketer, who has played extensively in the region, decided to take direct action by getting badly needed equipment for his fellow cricketers.
An appeal to local Liverpool schools and clubs, triggered an overwhelming response from players enthusiastic to support their compatriots in Sri Lanka.
100’s of ‘whites’, bats, pads, helmets and other essential equipment have been despatched on an ACS sea freight service to Sri Lanka, where they will be distributed directly to rural areas, where many families earn less than US$3 a day, for the use of children and clubs.
The Hong Kong and Kowloon Cricket clubs are adding to the equipment pooling effort as their season ends, while discussions with the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, The Ministry of Education and Candle-Aid (Sports) Charity will guide further distributions.
Mark Edwards commented. “I love cricket and the passion for the sport in Sri Lanka is humbling. I’m honoured to make a small contribution to make the sport more accessible to the children and amateur clubs, but the real thanks must go to the clubs and schools of Liverpool who gave so generously and to my colleagues at ACS in the UK and Sri Lanka, for doing all the hard work.”
If you’d like to support Mark’s efforts in Sri Lanka, or his next target – Bangladesh – visit Mark’s appeal page.