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Cricket stars support WaterAid in India

©WaterAid / Brendan Foster

As Delhi grapples with its third wave of Covid-19, cricket stars old and new, including Hashim Amla, Rory Burns, Morne Morkel, Ian Bell, Veda Krishnamurthy and WV Raman, are uniting in support of WaterAid’s call to help bring clean water to millions of people in India, so they can better defend themselves against the spread of infectious diseases.

Frequent handwashing with soap reduces the spread of coronaviruses (flu-like illnesses) by around a third (36%)[i], yet only 1 in 4 households in India have clean water, putting families on the back foot when it comes to maintaining good health and hygiene.

In support of WaterAid’s campaign to #BringWater to the missing 75%, Surrey County Cricket Club players Hashim Amla, Rory Burns, Morne Morkel, Will Jacks, Amar Virdi and Liam Plunkett have been trying their hand at defending the wicket with WaterAid’s specially designed bat, which is just a quarter of the size of a normal bat, while in practice at the Kia Oval.

Rory Burns, Surrey Cricket Club captain and England batsman, said:

“I wouldn’t play a match without all the right equipment, and people shouldn’t be left to protect their health without something so vital as clean water. Please support WaterAid’s Bring Water campaign and help get clean water to vulnerable people in India, transforming lives for good.”

Hashim Amla, batsman for Surrey Cricket Club, said:

“Clean water is a basic human right, but millions of people in India don’t have access to it. Without it, they cannot defend themselves from infectious diseases like coronavirus. By helping WaterAid raise funds to respond to the pandemic in India, we can all help make a difference to the lives of vulnerable communities.”

Also supporting the campaign is Lancashire’s Keaton Jennings, who said the size of the bat helped “hit home how tough it is for a lot of people during these times”, while Alex Hartley said her first thought was “how am I supposed to defend the wicket with only this”.

Ian Bell, former batsman for Warwickshire and England, signed a bat to donate to the campaign. He said:

“You can’t defend a wicket without a decent bat, and you can’t protect yourself against diseases like coronavirus without clean water and good hygiene. It’s easy to take clean water for granted when you have it on tap, but millions live without this basic human right. Together we can tackle this injustice by helping bring water to those in need.”

Mark Ramprakash, former batsman who played for England and Middlesex, also signed a bat to help raise money for WaterAid, saying:

“I’m proud to be supporting WaterAid’s ‘Bring Water’ campaign. We know washing our hands with water and soap is vital for helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19, yet only a quarter of households in India have access to clean water in their home. I’ve had the privilege of visiting India as a player and coach, and I’m so glad we can use the sport I love to raise awareness of this injustice. WaterAid is doing wonderful work to get clean water to those who need it most, and we can all do our part to help communities defend themselves.”

WV Raman, former India batsman and head coach for the India women’s national team, nicknamed the Women in Blue, and batswoman Veda Krishnamurthy have also added their voice to the campaign.

Veda Krishnamurthy said:

“How can India defend itself against the spread of diseases like Covid-19, when only a quarter of households have access to clean drinking water on site? Donate today and help bring water to the 75% who don’t have it.”

WaterAid’s Covid-19 projects in India are installing vital handwashing facilities in public areas such as markets, schools and health centres as well as running mass media campaigns to promote the importance of good handwashing and hygiene. Through the Bring Water campaign, WaterAid is working closely with local governments to help get piped water to all households.

Vikas Kataria, Director - Resource Mobilisation, in WaterAid India, said:

“WaterAid has been working in India over the last three decades to make clean water normal for everyone. We are working to lay the foundation through our work of keeping people healthy and helping communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty, to build a brighter future. We are working closely with governments at the local level, to ensure clean water reaches the last mile, which is also the objective behind ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’. Covid-19 has made it harder to reach our goals. To use a cricket parlance, we have to score more in fewer overs to win the match. The support of these wonderful cricketers and socially responsible cricket fans will help us score much needed boundaries to make clean water a reality for everyone.”

To donate to WaterAid’s #BringWater campaign and help transform more lives, visit: https://www.wateraid.org/uk/donate/cricket.