Afro-Asia Cup: Teamwork Triumphs

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ravi Shastri together with Anil Kumble and Virender Sehwag stepped out in Durban, before the second Standard Chartered Afro-Asia Cup match to meet children orphaned and affected by HIV/AIDS.

South Africa and India are the two countries with the largest number of HIV cases. India currently has 5.1 million HIV positive people and South Africa 5.3 million. Across the world millions of children under the age of 15 have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Without urgent, collective action, millions more children will face enormous risks in their struggle to stay alive.

Such was the appeal of what became known as the Standard Chartered Afro-Asia Cup, that long-term sponsors and broadcasters came on board within days of the tournament's announcement. That the players took this landmark event very seriously can be in no doubt. One had only to see the delight and trip-roaring joy with which the Africa team celebrated their narrow two-run victory in the first match at Centurion, to realise that this was high-intensity cricket from first ball to last.

The pride and passion the Asia team showed in fighting back to win the second match and then gain the initial advantage in the rain-cancelled decider, was a credit to the cause of 'Cricket for Unity'. As Asia's captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said throughout his time in Africa, "The Asia team have come together as friends to do our best for each other and the team."

Filed August 30 2005