Ind vs Eng 1st Test: Root and Curran will donate signed shirts and batting gloves to help raise awareness

Ind vs Eng 1st Test: Ahead of the first Test in Chennai on Friday, England Test captain, Joe Root, and England player and star of the Chennai Super Kings, Sam Curran, interacted with Paulraj and Monisha of the India (South) Street Child Cricket team that won the Street Child Cricket World Cup at Lord’s in 2019.

In a video conference discussion, Paulraj and Monisha (both from Chennai) quizzed the England players on how they got into the game, swapped stories about winning a World Cup at Lord’s and discussed upcoming England versus India Test series.

Root said: “We are very excited for the series. It should be really entertaining as India is coming off the back of a brilliant series win in Australia. We will make sure we are well-prepared as we can be when the first Test starts on Friday.”

Curran, who took part in the interaction from his home in the UK, said: “I think it is going to be a fantastic series, both teams are in good form, Australia was beaten by India and we have just come from Sri Lanka where we did really well. Two quality teams coming together is going to be great to watch.”

Just a month before England ODI captain, Eoin Morgan, lifted the 2019 ICC World Cup at Lord’s, Paulraj and his teammates clinched the Street Child Cricket World Cup, beating Team England at the same ground.

Root and Curran were excited to learn of the experiences of the two young cricketers and their description of picking up the world title at the home of cricket.

Monisha said: “It’s every cricketer’s dream to play at Lord’s and we are so proud to have been given this opportunity. Beating the England team in the final was an unforgettable experience. Joe and the team also won the World Cup on the same turf, in the same year. It feels proud that we both became World Champions on the same ground – at Lord’s.”

Paulraj said: “Playing at Lord’s was an achievement for me. Even if you have millions, it may not be possible to get this esteemed opportunity. Nonetheless, we did play at Lord’s and then went on to win the World Cup finals. This will remain one of the proudest and happiest moments for me.”

The Street Child Cricket World Cup brings street-connected young people from different countries to take part in a mixed-gender cricket tournament. To travel, the children need birth certificates and passports which gives them official identity. The tournament also provides a platform for the children to advocate for other fundamental human rights, including protection from abuse and access to education.

Monisha and Paulraj grew up on the streets. With the opportunity provided by the Indian Charity Karunalaya, and the UK charity, Street Child United, they are now pursuing their formal education and mentoring other street kids.

Root said: “You both should be very proud of what you have been doing for the street kids in India and other parts of the world. It shows great leadership from a very young age and you should be immensely proud of the example you have set for people in similar conditions.”

Root and Curran will donate signed shirts and batting gloves to help raise awareness for the cause of street children and inspire others to follow Monisha and Paulraj’s example.


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