Photo Credit: ICC
As part of the 100% Cricket Year of Women’s Cricket campaign on International Women’s Day, the ICC has called on the cricket world to come together to #IDeclare what action they will take to drive transformative change and be part of accelerating the growth of the game.
As it’s #IDeclare pledge, the ICC has committed to focus all its social impact programmes on empowering women and girls through cricket and today announced a partnership with UNICEF to promote equal opportunities for girls and boys in South Asia.
The partnership urges individual action by the cricket family and the sport’s 1 billion fans to support gender equality using the hashtag, #IDeclare. Women’s cricket is one of the ICC’s six strategic priorities for growth as the sport looks to grow female participation at every level.
ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said: “Cricket has the incredible power and reach to raise awareness and effect change and we’re proud to partner with UNICEF as part of 100% Cricket Year of Women’s Cricket to #IDeclare our commitment to empowering women and girls through cricket.
“We are committed to gender equity and using the platform of our sport to promote equal opportunities for girls and boys is a great way of doing this. We will also focus all of our Cricket 4 Good efforts on this too, ensuring we’re giving as many women and girls the chance to grow through our game.
UNICEF’s South Asia Regional Director, George Laryea-Adjei, said, “Equal opportunities for both girls and boys allow all children to reach their full potential. Despite progress, millions of girls continue to face discrimination at home, school and workplace. The pandemic has reversed the gains made in gender equality in many ways. We must bear in mind that when girls do better, societies do better. Each one of us must continue to speak up for equal opportunities for girls and women in all fields. By championing girls in sports, the ICC and UNICEF partnership will reach millions with powerful messages across the tournaments.”
The cricketing world has got behind the ICC and UNICEF #IDeclare campaign with players, commentators and commercial partners all making their own commitment to accelerating the growth of the women’s game.
India captain Mithali Raj kicked off #IDeclare with a commitment to supporting a future generation of girls in blue: “I declare that I will scout and train as many young girls as possible to take up this wonderful sport.”
Whilst Pakistan Captain Bismah Maroof, one of eight mothers competing at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup said: “I declare I will encourage my daughter to play cricket.”
Bangladesh bowler Jahanara Alam, joined the #IDeclare movement “I declare I will work hard and play good cricket to set an example not only for Bangladeshi girls but also all over the world”
Meanwhile ICC Partner FTX has backed #IDeclare by partnering with Women in Sport Aotearoa (WISPA), Official Charity Partner of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, to deliver a leadership programme for 16-19 year old women.
The programme is designed to identify young women who are demonstrating leadership potential in sport and active recreation, but who may need a boost to help them realise their potential. They are being specially selected not because they are already in leadership roles – such as school captains, or team leaders – but because they have the potential to be, with assistance.
Cricket fans all over the world are urged to get involved and #IDeclare what they will do to drive transformational growth of the game. Fans can tell us what their declaration is by using the hashtag #IDeclare and tagging in @ICC.