Monday 10 December 2007 

Surrey And Sri Lanka Combine To Aid Tsunami Victims

Paul Sheldon, Chief Executive of Surrey County Cricket Club, last week paid a visit to the Surrey Cricket Village at Magonna.

The village is a joint development between Surrey County Cricket Club and the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, to provide homes for those whose lives were devastated in the 2004 Tsunami.

As the third anniversary of the disaster approaches, Sheldon was accompanied by a group of the British media to see how things have progressed at Magonna. The local residents gave their guests a guided tour of the village.

The village was officially opened on Saturday 10th February by the Sri Lanka Minister for Sports and Recreation, Gamini Lokuge, and comprises of 45 houses built on bushland and a central sports area for the community to use. With street names that honour famous Surrey Cricketers like Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe, the cricketing heritage of the village is clear for all to see.

Speaking during his visit Paul Sheldon said “It’s a fantastic chance for us to come back and see the progress made since February. Cricket is a massive part of life in Sri Lanka and we are committed to working with the national cricket board here and around the world to help it benefit local communities through projects like this.”

A large part of the funding came from a high-profile charity cricket match between an Asian and a Rest of the World side held at the Brit Oval on 20 June 2005. The match raised one million pounds and marked the start of a new charity called the Oval Cricket Relief Trust. The game involved some of the greatest international cricketers and was sponsored by Brit Insurance.

The trustees of the charity resolved to disburse funds to specially created projects, which would specifically focus on rebuilding communities, and providing new sports facilities. The trust and Surrey County Cricket club are planning to host another all-star match in July 2008 to raise funds for new projects planned in India.

Surrey County Cricket Club is committed to the community, charity and the environment. Community projects at home and abroad form part of that policy.

© Surrey CCC