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Aussies' act of generosity in Zimbabwe

Aditya Joshi
ANALYST
News
214   //    24 Jul 2018, 18:47 IST

Maxwell teaching the children some of his unique shots // cricket.com.au

While the current Australian side have had unimpressive results on the field all year long so far, their philanthropy off it has surely been able to leave a mark on many. On their tour to Zimbabwe, where they started off strongly before faltering twice against Pakistan, they still managed to be the cause of smiles on hundreds of faces.

The sights of utter poverty they were subjected to in the country of Zimbabwe, having to see underprivileged children go about their lives the way they did, moved the Australian cricketers to the extent that they donated all of their prize money from the tri-series involving hosts and Pakistan, to buy necessary supplies for the children of a makeshift school in the Hatcliffe Extension, a forty-five minute drive from capital Harare.

The primary school is run by support from volunteers and takes in children from the economically crippled strata of the society, a lot of the intakes being orphans.

While the limited resources leave the school a far cry from what the visiting cricketers might have been used to growing up back home, it was the enthusiasm and the contentment of the patrons with whatever they had, that left a strong impact on the Aussies.

And soon, their scheduled exploration worth one hour turned into thrice the planned amount of time.

"It was an amazing trip," dynamo batsman Glenn Maxwell said. "The place we went to was into the wilderness and they were amazing these kids. "It was an amazingly special thing for us to be a part of and just see the joy that it brought them."

After the series was done, all the man-of-the-match awards, sixes awards, match-winning awards, we were able to cash them in and go and buy a whole heap of things for their school and donate back to them at the end of the trip.

While the visit was surely a ton of impact on the kids, it also left the cricketers moved by the experience, thereby making it one of those memorable moments in sports where the actions of the participants create greater ripples outside of the ground than on it.

The Australians' prize money was used to purchase hundreds of textbooks, pens, chalk, exercise books, clipboards among the items that would aid the kids' learning and soccer and rugby balls, as well as all the cricket and team kit they left behind on their first visit, to leave a mark of how sports unite people all over the world and transcend identities like class, cultures or nationalities.

The gesture by the Australians was not a mere one-off. Back in 2017 on their tour of India, they visited a facility for oppressed girls in the suburban Ranchi, and the likes of Stephen O'Keefe, Ashton Agar, former captain Steve Smith and Maxwell himself were greatly affected by the struggles of the children and admitted that it did "give them a widened perspective of the world."

Similarly, in the same year, they visited women in Bangladesh who had gone through hardships of social injustice and domestic violence and had listened to their stories while lifting the affected women's spirits not only with the act of their visit but with their own words as well.

These actions source to Cricket Australia's initiative dedicated to charitable purposes called Cricket Cares, it is supported by Brisbane based charity called Grassroots Cricket.

This is not only a great advertisement for the game and its players across the world, but also sets the correct example for the millions of kids across the world who look up to them not as just sportsmen, but as people.



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