Sporting legends Brian Lara and Waqar Younis have joined forces with Muslim Aid to aid children in Pakistan with a tour of fundraising events across the UK. The cricketers announced their partnership with Muslim Aid at a press conference held at Muslim Aid’s headquarters in London.
Speaking at the conference, Brian Lara voiced his support for Muslim Aid by starting off his address to the press by saying: “I just want to commend Muslim Aid and the great work they’ve been doing around the world helping underprivileged kids and doing whatever they can in areas that are very remote and people don’t even think about going.”
Speaking in support of the tour, Waqar Younis encouraged people to attend, commenting: “We are here, we are very excited, please come out-[Muslim Aid is] a great charity and we all know it’s a great cause.”
The tour will benefit children in Pakistan, where it is estimated that nearly 40% of the country live in poverty. Muslim Aid places heavy emphasis on educating children as a means of development, and in keeping with this, in 2016 alone, Muslim Aid provided education to 20,000 children in Pakistan and trained 468 teachers across 69 schools. 4,900 students also received direct educational services. In addition to this, Muslim Aid safeguarded the health of hundreds of thousands of children by providing over 11,000 water and sanitation facilities to schools and communities and installing over 740 wells and hand pumps. Muslim Aid also provides monthly holistic support and assistance to 631 children in Pakistan to raise them out of poverty as part of its Rainbow Family Child Support programme.
Speaking of the joint tour, Muslim Aid CEO, Jehangir Malik OBE said: “We are very proud and honoured to have two great cricket legends here to be touring as part of Muslim Aid”. He went on to explain the rationale behind touring with the cricketers: “Their potential was unlocked and they became so influential in the cricket space. We’re hoping they can connect with communities across the country, unlock the potential of so much within our communities and fundraise lots of money to help unlock the potential of people around the world.” Mr Malik, who had just arrived from a humanitarian field visit to Somalia in the wake of the East Africa famine concluded by describing his experiences, noting the dire situation on the ground and urging support for Muslim Aid’s emergency appeal.
Muslim Aid’s cricket tour will begin in Bradford on 23rd March and go on to Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium on 24th March, London’s Kia Oval, Surrey County Cricket Club, on 25th March and will conclude in Manchester on 26th March.