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Rediff.com  » Sports » Engineer to help Cricket Espana catch the spirit

Engineer to help Cricket Espana catch the spirit

April 23, 2009 16:41 IST

Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer will help Cricket Espana and Madrid Cricket Club catch the spirit during ICC centenary year celebrations from April 25 to 27.

The man who played 46 Tests for his country between 1961 and 1975 will run three one-hour coaching sessions over the three days. These sessions will coincide with the Madrid Cricket Club hosting its second Solidarity Twenty20 Tournament at La Manga Club, Murcia in southern Spain. 

Eight teams from Spain (Madrid Cricket Club, La Manga Cricket Club, Mojacar Cricket Club), the United Kingdom (Bank of England Cricket Club, Belsize Cricket Club, Milton Keynes Cricket Club) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam Cricket Club and The Hague Cricket Club) will be taking part. 

Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, a Spanish non-governmental organisation working to improve the lives of the people of Anantapur, India.

The foundation also plans to set up a cricket academy for more than 1,200 children with disabilities.

And proceeds from Farokh's coaching sessions, which start at around 1100 each day and cost €20, will go towards his charity for homeless children in Mumbai and the tournament fund-raising effort.

The Catch the Spirit celebrations are aimed at promoting the ICC's centenary, the great spirit of cricket and the wide appeal and diversity of the game. While the ICC's Full Members including Australia, Bangladesh, the West Indies, South Africa, Pakistan and New Zealand have already celebrated their weeks, the spotlight will shine on Spain to showcase the spirit of the game and the collective commitment and values which are central to the sport. 

The Catch the Spirit flag, an indicator of the ICC's centenary year, will also be present at the tournament.

The Catch the Spirit celebrations will continue across the continent during the European summer. The events due to take place shortly include the Italian under-19 Championship from May 1 to 3, women's eight-a-side international tournament in Munich, Germany from May 2 to 3, the inaugural under-13 national training camp in Finland from 10 to 14 July, the Limerick World Cup in Ireland from July 12 to 24 and the Maccabiah Games in Israel from July 12 to 24.

The full list of events can be seen at http://www.catchthespirit.com/catch_the_spirit/cts-events-fixture.aspx.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat, looking ahead to the centenary celebrations in Europe, said: "ICC's centenary is a chance to celebrate our great sport and great spirit across the world. It's fantastic to see all of our Members commemorate a century of international cricket and share the fantastic spirit of the sport.

"The ICC has made significant steps in developing and promoting the game. As a governing body that ploughs all money earned back to its Members, we have just begun investing US$300 million into the development of the game among our second and third-tier Members, the biggest commitment to grow a sport outside of soccer.

"The ICC Global Cricket Academy will also open later this year which will be a great opportunity to develop talent and take the game to the next level."

Cricket España Chairman Phil Beal said: "I'm really pleased that Cricket España is playing its part in celebrating the ICC's centenary and demonstrate the spirit of cricket in Spain. 

"There is a lot of cricket on offer in Spain and with 20 club teams, the sport continues to grow and develop. The ICC's continued investment means we will be taking the game to new levels so more people have access to play cricket and the standard continues to improve."

Richard Holdsworth, ICC Europe Regional Development Manager, said: "The Catch the Spirit events in Europe in 2009 are an excellent way to mark the development of the game across the region in the past 100 years.

"There is much more cricket in Europe than some people may think and the ICC centenary provides an opportunity to showcase the great work of our Members. With the ICC's increased investment the game will continue to develop in Europe and I hope that in another 100 years there will be even more cricket to celebrate in the region."

France and Malta have already played their role in the centenary celebrations. The inaugural Indoor Women's Tournament took place in Dijon, France (7-8 March) at the same time as International Women's Day. Meanwhile Malta organized a national school tournament to develop the youth game in the country.