White Ribbon Campaign takes to the crease at Headingley
Cricket stars from both the men’s and women’s games – as well as celebrities, sport stars and politicians – will be aiming to ‘Bowl Out Domestic Violence’ when they take to the field at Headingley on Sunday 4th September.
Organised by Cricket Beyond the Boundary Line (CBBL) in support of the White Ribbon Campaign – set up to tackle domestic violence against women and children – the event will consist of two T20 matches.
Halima Khan, a director of CBBL said: “Cricket is a powerful tool for engagement in bringing people from different backgrounds together, whilst raising awareness of the White Ribbon campaign.
“For me personally, I am extremely proud to be showcasing the diverse range of women who play cricket from a grassroots level and especially those from the South Asian community. The event is set to be a fantastic day for everyone to get involved and show their support”
Mark Arthur, CEO of Yorkshire County Cricket commented saying: “Yorkshire County Cricket club is delighted to support the White Ribbon Campaign and all at Headingley are very much looking forward to hosting the day’s events.
“As a Club, we pride ourselves on supporting worthwhile initiatives such as this one, especially when the campaign chimes so well with cricket’s culture of respect. We sincerely hope the event proves successful in raising awareness of domestic violence.”
The Combined Services representative Major Lisa Marr, who is Head of Engagement, said: “The Armed forces are delighted to take part in the women’s cricket march at the iconic Headingley stadium. As an equal opportunities employer we are fully supportive of any initiatives to get more females involved in any sport regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or background”.
Each of the teams will be playing for the 2016 Cricket Beyond the Boundary Line White Ribbon Trophy. The women’s games will be captained by Salma Bi, who is the first British Asian and Muslim woman in history to play for Worcestershire County Cricket Club, whilst the men’s Parliamentary select XI will be led by Lord Patel of Bradford, who is also a director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as an independent member.
One of those taking part in the parliamentary game, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, commented: “I’m delighted to be supporting the White Ribbon Cricket ‘Beyond the Boundary Line’ event and want everyone to get behind this amazing charity.
“It is important that we celebrate and inspire others to follow suit and I congratulate the organisers for arranging what promises to be a fantastic event,” added Greg, who is an official White Ribbon Campaign ambassador along with current Yorkshire and England cricketer Adil Rashid and Rugby League legend Garry Schofield OBE.
Ikram Butt, sports campaigner and White Ribbon ambassador commented: “Sport has a tremendous influence over men’s and youth culture. Young men and women play sport, watch sport, and participate in sports culture socially.
“Sport provides an avenue for promoting safe and respectful behaviours amongst men and young people. We are delighted and very grateful to be provided with this wonderful opportunity by Mark Arthur and to Bowl Out Domestic Violence in all its shapes and forms.”
The White Ribbon XI team are delighted that the National Asian Cricket Council (NACC) have accepted their invitation to lead the team.
Founder of the NACC Gulfraz Riaz commented: “The NACC are delighted to be supporting this hugely important event and we looking forward to taking on the Parliamentary Select XI on the Headingley pitch. The NACC team which will be captained by Kabir Ali, former England and Lancashire player.
“We are keen to bring together the cricketing family, as we all get behind CBBL and the White Ribbons ‘Bowling out Domestic Violence’ campaign. I urge all the communities to come and support the day”.
There will be a festival style atmosphere at Headingley on the day, including a climbing wall, bouncy castle , the Army Band and even Bhangra drummers – showcasing the diversity Yorkshire has to offer.
ECB Chief Executive Officer, Tom Harrison, said: “It’s great to see cricket at the heart of this initiative and have so many different cricketing communities involved. Our sport has a proud tradition of fair play and showing respect for the opposition – values which we believe fit perfectly with this campaign and are easily translated into everyday life. Our congratulations to CBBL on organising the event and best wishes to all the teams involved.”