This afternoon, Anne Main MP as Chair of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Bangladesh hosted the team of Bangladeshi street children who are in the UK to play in the Street Children Cricket World Cup.
Mrs Main arranged for a team of MPs to play cricket against the Bangladeshi children on Victoria Tower Gardens, just beside the Houses of Parliament. The match was followed by a reception in the House of Commons rounding off a very special day for everyone involved.
“This was a truly unique day for all of us”, said Mrs Main. “To host a proper cricket match with MPs and the kids on the park right beside Parliament was really something special. We all loved getting to meet the children and I think they all really enjoyed themselves.”
The event was jointly hosted by the APPG on Bangladesh and Friends of Street Children Bangladesh, a UK charity who have supported the team of children from Dhaka to come to London for the tournament.
The visiting children previously lived on the streets in Bangladesh but are now living under the care of LEEDO, a charity set up to help support street children and to find them new homes. LEEDO have found a home for over 2,000 street children in the last four years.
The children managed to make it all the way to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup where they lost narrowly to the team from south India at Lords Cricket Ground earlier this month.
Anne’s team of MPs, which included the health secretary Matt Hancock and shadow foreign minister Liz McInnes MP, were comfortably beaten by the talented team from Dhaka. The game was played in very good spirits and all those taking part were very impressed by the skills of the touring team.
The cricket match was followed by a packed-out reception in the Jubilee Room of the House of Commons. Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field MP spoke during the reception about the growing links between Bangladesh and the UK.
The Bangladeshi High Commissioner, Saida Muna Tasneem, who umpired the cricket match, also gave a speech to the audience of MPs, sponsors and the cricket team themselves.
Speaking after the event, Mrs Main said, “It was a privilege to host the team of children from Dhaka in the House of Commons today. They have had to lead very difficult lives so far and it is great that they had the opportunity to come to London and play in a cricket world cup.
“We wanted to host an event that would not only be a fun day out for the kids but also to raise awareness about the issues street children in Bangladesh face. Cricket is a great way of bringing people from all over the world together and I think the Street Children Cricket World Cup is a great example of that.
“These children have been given a safe home and education but there are many more children who need help too. I am certain organisations like LEEDO will continue to grow and help more and more children who need the support.”