Positive impression made at Inner City World Cup

England and Middlesex batsman, Sam Robson, was on hand to see a young Afghanistan team triumph at the 9th ‘Inner City World Cup’ (ICWC) at The MCC Academy, Lord’s Cricket Ground on the 29th August.

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The event, run by The Change Foundation and sponsored by Investec, brings together young Londoners from different communities through cricket to teach them about different cultures, encourage community cohesion and friendship.  The Inner City World Cup is a ‘Street20’ cricket competition, and young people choose to represent either their own country of birth or their parent’s country of birth.

There were 8 teams involved from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, England, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, alongside 2 guest teams from event sponsors, Investec and leading cricket magazine, All Out Cricket.

After a brief introduction from The Change Foundation’s, Alex Bassan, event organiser, the teams were split into 2 groups for the main competition of the day. Group A consisted of Sri Lanka, England, Pakistan and Investec with Group B having India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and All Out Cricket.

An intense ‘Bowl Out’ between Afghanistan, India and Bangladesh was needed to decide a Group B winner. Afghanistan won and went through to take on Sri Lanka in a keenly contested final.  Afghanistan having set Sri Lanka a stern target of 40 runs to win ran out as the 2014 Champions.

Susie Robbie from sponsor Investec, says, “This is a competition we are honoured to support. Using cricket as a means to encourage positive values, and the fresh perspectives of the young players makes working with The Change Foundation refreshing, motivating and extremely rewarding”.

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What really makes the Inner City World Cup stand out is when all the teams are mixed up after the main competition has ended. It brings so much value to the day. It not only encourages the players to work with new people but it gives the young people an opportunity to understand a new culture and learn from their peers.

Henry Cowen from All Out Cricket left feeling inspired by the young people he had met, “We were absolutely delighted to take part in the day. The talent on show was very impressive and the youngsters on all sides made quite the impression on us – not least when they were condemning us to three straight defeats. It’s a fantastic initiative and one that we were proud to be involved in. There’s no doubt it’s something that will really benefit all of the youngsters that were involved.”

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The day finished on a high with the young people not only going away with bundles of cricket under their belt but a real sense of achievement, a healthy respect for others and perhaps learnt something new about themselves!

Alex Bassan, Development Officer from The Change Foundation, adds, “Over the past 8 years the ICWC has been a celebration of pride, leadership and teamwork amongst a diverse group of young people. Our partnership with Investec has been the positive catalyst in giving this opportunity to those young people”.

Finally a big thank you to, Investec for their continued support of the Inner City World Cup, All Out Cricket for their coverage, The MCC Academy at Lord’s Cricket Ground for being so accommodating to us and supplying a cracking lunch and of course DJ Dave for some brilliant tunes!

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More quotes on from Investec employees who took part in the day:

Teresa O’Brien – Investec Sustainability – Environment
I had never even held a cricket bat before attending the Inner City World Cup at Lord’s with The Change Foundation.  I was made to feel part of the event from the outset and included in all of the games.  The students were wonderful players and keen to win the cup for their team. They were extremely organised and took control of the games effortlessly. Yet they were also very friendly – happy to answer my pretty basic questions about the game both on and off the pitch. The student became the teacher!

Kimani Mbugua – Investec IT
The Change Foundation’s ICWC at Lord’s is a thoroughly enjoyable day out. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces, observing how instinctively they became determined, encouraging their team mates during their matches made the day all the more brilliant.

Personally, I have fond memories of the talented and inspiring Afghan team of 2014. As a volunteer, to witness their journey from despair at losing their first match to winning the finals was awesome! Their determination and smiles summed up the day very well.

I’m very pleased that Investec continue to support the ICWC. How we all come together from our different backgrounds and enjoy a few games of cricket at such an iconic venue. It’s a very fulfilling experience and best of all, it’s bags of fun!