Tuesday, February 12, 2008

MCC raise £650,000 for tsunami projects

MCC have raised over £650,000 to fund recovery projects in Sri Lanka following the devastating tsunami in December 2004. Representatives from MCC visited Sri Lanka recently to witness the region's regeneration, and a short video has been released to promote the achievement.

Two fund-raising matches were organised in the wake of the disaster, the first in Melbourne and the second, in June 2005, at Lord's between MCC and an International XI. A host of star players - including Shane Warne and Brian Lara, helped attract a packed crowd, with all proceeds going towards the recovery programme.

MCC in Sri Lanka - The Legacy of the Tsunami Match is a 20-minute film that tells the story of how the London match has helped thousands of people rebuild their lives in Sri Lanka. The film, narrated by the BBC's Jonathan Agnew, also features music from Eric Clapton.

"What the tsunami fund-raising match of June 2005 has achieved is astonishing. It was an honour for me to meet some remarkable people of vision and to see first hand a number of projects we have been able to associate with," Mike Brearley, the MCC president, said. "It was an inspiring visit and I believe the film captures this sentiment perfectly."

The charities and organisations to benefit from the match were Leonard Cheshire Disability, British Red Cross, Sri Lanka Cricket and the Foundation for Goodness, a charity supported by Muttiah Muralitharan. In addition, a new purpose-built cricket ground, pavilion and indoor nets were opened at Sri Sumangala College, a state-run school of over 1,600 pupils.

"This film clearly demonstrates that the money raised in 2005 has not only been spent well, it has gone a long way and been spent with an eye to the future," Keith Bradshaw, the MCC chief executive, said. "It's humbling to be a part of something so extraordinary and fitting, I believe, that the projects we've financed include a number of measures designed to help inspire future generations of Sri Lankan cricketers. We must thank again all those players from around the world who gave us their time and skill to make this happen, and to MCC Members, spectators and TV viewers for contributing so generously to the cause. I would urge all cricket lovers to take a look at this film."