Garner hails cricket as “force for good” ahead of fundraising T20

Fast bowler legend Joel Garner (second from left) pictured here last September raising funds for hurricane relief at the Oval in London.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados,  CMC – West Indies legend Joel Garner has added his voice to those supporting the massive goodwill effort to rebuild stadia affected by the passage of deadly Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September.

West Indies clash with an ICC World XI on May 31 at Lord’s in a fundraising Twenty20 International and Garner noted that cricket was again showing it was a unifying force for good.

“Our players have always been willing to be involved in any kind of charitable working going back to my playing days and even before,” said the former Windies team manager.

“It is great to see the youngsters have again joined that rich tradition and are happy to participate and give back to the community and those in need.”

The great former fast bowler was Windies team manager last year during the one-day tour of England when several Caribbean islands were devastated by the tropical cyclones.

He joined the outreach then by volunteering to collect funds and this year will be involved as part of the delegation to Lord’s for the high profile match.

“Last year we had a good day at the Oval where we interacted with the spectators in an effort to raise funds,” he explained.

“This year will be no different. I think over 6 000 tickets have been sold so far and the match is still two weeks away. Based on these sales, it seems we will have a great crowd at Lords for the upcoming game.”

He continued: “Cricket is again showing it can be a ‘force for good’ and it can help to bring people together. We have a situation here where cricket has stepped forward to help those in need. We have to say a huge thanks to the players who will participate.

“All around the world sports helps to bring a smile to people’s faces and sportsmen are hailed as heroes, so it’s always great to see when those players give back in a meaningful way.”

The Windies will be led by T20 World Cup hero Carlos Brathwaite and includes two-time world champions Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Samuel Badree.

The match will also mark a return to international cricket for Andre Russell following his recent year-long ban.

England white-ball captain Eion Morgan will skipper the World XI which will feature exciting Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, Pakistan batting star Shoaib Malik, Bangladesh stroke-maker Tamim Iqbal as well as Sandeep Lamichhane, the sensational 17-year-old wrist spinner from Nepal.

The match will be played under lights starting at 6 pm (1 pm Eastern Caribbean time).

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