November 22 2005
England Cricket Team pay SOS Children's Villages Pakistan a surprise visit
22/11/2005 - Members of England's triumphant cricket team recently delighted children from SOS Children's Villages in Multan, central Pakistan, by paying them a surprise visit and engaging in a game of cricket with them.
Taking time out from their tour of Pakistan, Andrew Flintoff, Shaun Udal, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Liam Plunket and Matt Prior of the England Cricket Team showed off their batting and bowling skills to children in the care of SOS Children's Villages in Multan. The players also joined the children for a game of cricket on the grounds of the children's village before the guests were entertained with a tableau.
The players brought with them a supply of Kwik Cricket bats, balls and stumps for the children as well as a bat signed by the touring squad, which will be auctioned to raise funds for the children's village.
Mr. Michael Soper, Deputy Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board said of the visit: "The England team have shown that they are here to play entertaining cricket but also to help raise the profile of worthwhile causes in Pakistan."
The England Cricket Team is no stranger to SOS Children's Villages, having previously visited a children's village in India on their 2002 tour. Then Captain Nasser Hussain took the squad to the children's village in Calcutta, which the team supported with a number of child sponsorships.
Farhar Khan, a spokesperson of SOS Children's Villages in Multan said: "The England team have been extremely generous and the children have enjoyed the opportunity to meet such well known players. The Indian squad came to the children's village last year and the visit by the England players helps us in our fundraising activities."
Vodafone, the telecommunication company that has sponsored the England team for the last ten years, rounded off the visit by selecting one of the boys from the children's village to be their official mascot, wear their cap and walk on to the field with the two captains for the toss in the first test against Pakistan. The boy, along with two others, will watch the match from the players' pavilion and meet the teams in the dressing rooms.