SL Visually Handicapped XI’s World Cup vision

Friday, 7 November 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Standard Chartered joined forces with Sri Lanka Cricket to raise approximately Rs. 2 million for the Sri Lankan Visually Handicapped XI’s expenses and recently disbursed the last of the funds collected. Fundraising opportunities were created around the South African and Pakistan tours for the Sri Lankan Visually Handicapped XI’s World Cup effort in South Africa this month. The team is scheduled to leave for Cape Town shortly to compete with seven other nations for this coveted award. Standard Chartered Head of Corporate Affairs/Brand and Marketing Sanjeewani de Silva, speaking of the bank’s efforts said: “We are so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to support our visually-handicapped cricketers. We must especially thank Sri Lanka Cricket for coming on board with our efforts and providing us with some memorable fundraising opportunities around the international cricket tours,” Standard Chartered’s support for the Sri Lanka Visually Handicapped XI was inspired by the bank’s community investment platform addressing curable blindness globally, ‘Seeing is Believing’. Sri Lanka Cricket worked with the bank to introduce a community investment perspective to international cricket tours, and the blind cricketers seemed most suitable benefactors. Fundraising activities included money-can’t-buy experiences such as a meet-and-greet opportunity for avid fans, and the chance to bid for memorabilia at an exclusive event attended by members of the Sri Lanka national team as well as those of the visiting teams, participation in mini coaching camps by select players and coaches of the teams, and the ‘Seeing is Believing Super Fan’, who had the good fortune to meet cricketers at the ground at the end of the match and have a ball autographed by the captains, simply by bidding online. Sri Lanka Cricket Head of Cricket Operations Carlton Bernardus commented: “The Sri Lanka Visually Handicapped XI should be pleased not only with the relief afforded by the much-needed funds but also the exposure these efforts have brought them. I hope they return victorious from their world cup tour as our national team did in 1996. Standard Chartered has been truly inspirational. The passion and dedication the bank’s team brought to these fundraisers gave an additional dimension to international cricket tours.” The Sri Lankan Visually Handicapped XI has already displayed its talent and prowess and its sheer determination to excel. This team finished third at the inaugural T20 World Cup competition, a little known fact despite the popularity of cricket and our sighted cricketing heroes in this country. The team now embarks on realising a dream – to raise the World Cup high in South Africa in November.