Kolkata, dec 4 (UNI) New Zealand Cricket is to hold two Twenty20 cricket matches in Hamilton on December 23 to raise funds for cyclone stricken Bangladesh.
An invitational Masters XI including past international players will face the New Zealand Under-19 side before a New Zealand XI take on Bangladesh.
''Cyclone SIDR caused an incredible amount of damage, suffering and death in Bangladesh and New Zealand Cricket is committed to raising funds with World Vision to assist in the aftermath of the cyclone," New Zealand CEO Justin Vaughan said, a Bangladesh Cricket Board release stated.
''The Bangladesh team's tour of New Zealand provided an excellent opportunity to do something for the people of the country. All profits from the day will go to World Vision's Bangladesh relief efforts.
''NZC is proud of its contribution to World Vision's Sri Lankan cricket villages built as a result of the public's efforts to support NZC and World Vision's fundraising following the Tsunami which devastated much of Sri Lanka.'' Stephen Fleming, who will captain the New Zealand XI team, said it was important to players that they support the Bangladesh team and they were hoping to help raise as much money as possible for cyclone relief.
One million people have been affected by the cyclone. Many have lost their homes, or been badly damaged. A quarter of a million livestock have been killed and more than 142,000 acres of crops completely lost.
''In the worst affected districts, more than 50 per cent of crops and trees were destroyed. New Zealanders sponsor 6,400 children in the affected areas,'' he said.
World Vision CEO Lisa Cescon said the money raised through the special cricket matches would make a huge difference.
''Hundreds of thousands of people watched as their homes and loved ones were swept away and thanks to NZC we're going to be able to help them rebuild their lives.'' World Vision ambassador and New Zealand netballer Adine Wilson said the charity matches are a fantastic opportunity to support a worthwhile cause.
''By getting involved with this game, both the New Zealand and Bangladesh cricketers are showing they care about the children and families in Bangladesh whose lives have been devastated by the recent cyclone,'' she said.
''It's an awesome way for New Zealanders to donate to World Vision's recovery efforts in the affected areas.'' UNI