SYDNEY, 17 FEBRUARY 2020, As global charity partner of the tournament, UNICEF has announced its Partnership Ambassadors for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, which takes place in cities across Australia from 21st February 2020 - 8th March 2020. Rachael Haynes, former Captain and current member of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team and Alex Blackwell, former Captain of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team have joined forces with UNICEF in support of the ‘For Every Girl’ campaign which seeks to empower girls through sport and build equality in communities.
Rachael and Alex sat down with UNICEF Special Reporter and fellow cricketer Gemma, aged 11, to discuss their experiences of growing up as female cricketers and why they think more girls should get into the game. In the interview, the Australian cricketing icons answered questions, written by Gemma, including ‘Have you ever gotten the giggles in a game’ and ‘Are you, Alex & Rachael, best friends?’. On why more girls should play cricket, Alex Blackwell shared a message of inclusion and equality, stressing the importance of supporting girls’ empowerment with UNICEF;
“Cricket doesn’t require any certain body type, I think anyone can play. If you’re tall, you’re short, you’re fast, you’re slow, it doesn’t really matter, you can find a place in a cricket team.”
“UNICEF does great work improving the lives of children all around the world and especially children who are more disadvantaged perhaps than I was as a child. I really believe that young kids everywhere should have an opportunity to play sport and I'm really excited to see the programme that UNICEF are doing in Sri Lanka.”
Through its partnership with the ICC’s Cricket For Good program, UNICEF will fund sports for development projects in Sri Lanka, enabling more girls to participate in cricket. Not only will the project provide practical sports supplies and strengthen 6,000 Kids’ Clubs across Sri Lanka, it will also help to build a more peaceful future for Sri Lankan girls and boys, as they develop skills in collaboration, leadership and teambuilding. The program’s messaging will reach 180,000 children across the country.
Rachael Haynes, who will play for Australia in the 21st February kick off match between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground, reflected on her experience as the only girl in an all boys cricket team as she was growing up, highlighting the barriers many girls face as they try to get into male-dominated sports;
“When I first started playing I played in the under 12 boys team, so I used to be the only girl in that competition. I’d be this little girl walking out in this big helmet and all the gear on and I’d quite often have boys walk up to me and ask if I was a girl, which I confirmed I was.”
The Partnership Ambassador announcement follows the confirmation in December 2019 that the ICC had extended its partnership with UNICEF for the upcoming tournament as part of the Cricket For Good outreach programme. Fans attending matches or watching online will have plenty of opportunities to get involved, including during the celebratory Final on 8th March 2020; International Women’s Day, where UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry will perform to a predicted sold out audience at the MCG and encourage supporters to visit unicef.org.au/cricket to donate.
About the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020
In 2020 the best cricketers in the world will come together for the biggest women’s sporting event ever held in Australia. The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will take place across the country from 21 February – 8 March, culminating in the final at the world’s biggest cricket stadium, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, on Sunday 8 March - International Women’s Day. This presents the opportunity to set a new world record for attendance at a women’s sporting fixture. 10 teams will contest a total of 23 matches in six host cities, starting with a blockbuster match-up between hosts Australia and India at Sydney Showground Stadium on Friday 21 February 2020.Later in 2020, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will take place in Australia, from 18 October – 15 November, comprising 16 teams contesting 45 matches in seven host cities.
About the ICC
The ICC is the global governing body for cricket. Representing 105 members, the ICC governs and administrates the game and is responsible for the staging of major international tournaments including the ICC Men’s World Cup and Women’s World Cup and the ICC Men’s and Women’s T20 World Cups as well as all associated qualifying events. The ICC presides over the ICC Code of Conduct which sets the professional standards of discipline for international cricket, playing conditions, bowling reviews and other ICC regulations. The Laws of the game remain under the auspices of the MCC. The ICC also appoints the umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. Through the Anti-Corruption Unit it coordinates action against corruption and match fixing. The ICC Development department works with Associate Members to improve the quality of international cricket, build better cricket systems, get more people playing cricket and grow the game.
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