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ICPA, Unicef partner for Indian children

MUMBAI: A partnership has been forged between the Indian Cricket Players Association (ICPA) and Unicef for furthering the cause of India’s children.

ICPA president, the Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, spoke on the partnership of the ICPA and the support given by the ICPA to the Bowl out Polio drive. An official release informs that the ICPA planned to sign a Memorandum of Understanding in the upcoming cricket season to cement this partnership.

At an informal reception held a few days ago, Unicef's head Carol Bellamy acknowledged the support received by the ICPA cricketers for Unicef's programmes for the benefit of India’s children. Also present were High Commissioners of cricket playing countries, and former cricketers including Bishan Singh Bedi, Chetan Chauhan, Abbas Ali Baig, Kapil Dev.

The new alliance strengthens the association between Unicef India and the cricketers. This began in 1986 with the initiation of the Cricketers for Children programme. The cricketers lent active support to Unicef's immunisation campaign against the six killer diseases. Cricket stars like Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Vivian Richards, Allan Border, John Wright and Ravi Shastri participated in this campaign. TV spots were made which were aired during the 1987 World Cup in India and Pakistan.

Earlier in the year before going to South Africa the players gave their support to Unicef's Bowl out Polio campaign. Polio spots were made by skipper Sourav Ganguly, his wife Donna, Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan. These spots were aired on the National Immunisation Day, which incidentally coincided with the start of the World Cup.

Recently Mohammad Kaif and Nawab of Pataudi visited Unicef's house to take part in a documentary on Polio eradication being made for the BBC. Earlier this month Ace leggie Anil Kumble took time off during the players’ final training camp helped further the Bowl Out Polio cause in Bangalore.

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