Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar has lauded the new policy of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) mandating daily sports period for students of class 9 to 12 and urged the board to extend it to all the classes.
The board has formulated new sports guidelines for schools mandating them to have a daily sports period for class 9 to 12 so as to prevent students from having a sedentary lifestyle and turning into couch potatoes.
"India is at number 3 when it comes to obesity and it is a matter of serious concern. A young, unfit and unhealthy India is a recipe for disaster. To be able to tackle this issue, we must build a strong sporting culture in our country," Tendulkar said in a letter to CBSE Chairman Anita Karwal.
"CBSE's decision to reserve one period every day for health and physical education is indeed a right move in that direction. However, there is certainly more that can be done with this initiative," he added.
The ace cricketer further said, "Since the overall objective of your initiative is preventing obesity among children, the board would also like to consider making health and fitness mandatory across all other classes as well."
The board has prepared a 150-page manual detailing sports guidelines for schools for classes 9 to 12 and methodologies for implementing them.
According to the new guidelines aimed at mainstreaming health and physical education, it will be mandatory for schools to have a "sports" period daily during which students will have to go the playground but will be free to perform any physical activity listed in the manual and will be graded on the same.
The board had in March asked all schools to reserve one period for "Health and Physical Education (HPE)" while preparing their time-table for the 2018-19 session. However, HPE will be different from Physical Education (PE) academic elective which is offered to class 10 and 12 students.
Ronchi, McClenaghan complete ICC World XI squad
New Zealand pair of Luke Ronchi and Mitchell McClenaghan completed the ICC World XI line-up for the fund-raising Twenty20 International against the West Indies at Lord's on May 31.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Ronchi and fast bowler McClenaghan join a host of stars who have already confirmed their participation in the Lord's match, which is being organised to raise funds for stadia in the Caribbean which were damaged due to hurricanes last year.
The team, to be led by England's limited overs captain Eoin Morgan, includes Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik (both India), Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik (both Pakistan), Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal (both Bangladesh), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka) and Rashid Khan (Afghanistan).
“It's a great honour to be leading a side which has a selection of players from a number of nations, and I can't wait to get on to the field for what promises to be an engrossing contest," World XI skipper Morgan said.
“The build-up to the event on May 31 has been very exciting with new additions announced on a regular basis, and the anticipation has been growing daily. I'm sure all the players, including those of the Windies side, are eager to play at Lord's.
“It's a fantastic feeling that we will be all getting together for a good cause. The cricket fraternity should be very proud that the funds raised from the match will help rebuild the stadia in the Caribbean and also contribute to the growth of the game.”
Ronchi, who turned out for Australia before returning to play for his country of birth New Zealand, has scored 1397 runs in 85 ODIs with 105 catches and 12 stumpings, while he has 359 runs in 32 T20Is with 24 catches and five stumpings.
He scored most runs in this year's Pakistan Super League, aggregating 435 runs for Islamabad United. Left-arm bowler McClenaghan has 82 wickets in 48 ODIs and 30 in 28 T20Is.
The Windies, the reigning ICC World Twenty20 champions, are being led by Carlos Brathwaite. Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree and Andre Russell are among the other leading players in the squad.
The venues that will benefit include the Ronald Webster Park in Anguilla, the Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua, the Windsor Park Stadium in Dominica, the CaribLumberBallPark in St. Maarten and the Cancryn Cricket Grounds in St. Thomas, USVirgin Islands.
World XI squad: Eoin Morgan (captain, England), Dinesh Karthik (India), Mitchell McClenaghan (New Zealand), Hardik Pandya (India), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Luke Ronchi (New Zealand), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Shoaib Malik (Pakistan), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh).