हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Kiwis bring Xmas cheer to local clubs

Published: Friday, December 15, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Johannesburg: The New Zealand cricket team may be leaving South Africa with heavy hearts after failing to win a single Test here, but they have won many local hearts with a generous gesture. In a low-key event at the Johannesburg hotel where the team has been staying for the past two weeks, the squad handed over all their kit to cash-strapped local clubs in mainly black areas. The Soweto Cricket Club and its affiliates were given everything that the team members felt they did not need to take back or that they could replace easily back home. This ranged from helmets, boots and clothing to bats, balls and kitbags. The only items not handed over were ones that had some sentimental value for individuals. The donation was valued at several thousand rands. Despite their losing streak, the New Zealand team has proved to be popular with local cricket fans while they were here and this gesture of goodwill towards local cricketers who are battling to make ends meet has further entrenched the respect and love South Africans have for this team. The New Zealanders' move was rewarded with an announcement by United Cricket Board of South Africa managing director Ali Bacher that the Centurion cricket ground would be the home base for the New Zealand team during the Cricket World Cup 2003, which will be held in South Africa. The team had earlier indicated that this was one of their favorite grounds in South Africa. India Abroad News Service

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