India v Pakistan, ICC World Twenty20 warm-up, The Oval June 2, 2009

India-Pakistan warm-up to raise funds for Lahore victims

Cricinfo staff

India and Pakistan's eagerly anticipation clash at The Oval tomorrow has been designated as a "Catch the Spirit" match by the ICC, a fundraiser to help support families of the victims of the attack on the Sri Lanka team and officials in Lahore in March.

Funds raised through a variety of initiatives during the match will also support the Peace and Sport projects across Asia.

"The Board wanted to do something to assist the families of the victims of the terror attacks on the Sri Lanka team and match officials in March, and using this high-profile match with a sell-out crowd as a vehicle to do that makes excellent sense," said David Morgan, the ICC president.

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Security stepped up for game
  • Security around the Oval has been stepped up for the India-Pakistan Twenty20 warm-up match to be held today, with extra night watchmen and sniffer dogs deployed around the venue. "The sporting landscape has changed hugely since the tragedies in Mumbai and Lahore," Tournament Director Steve Elworthy said. "We need to be confident we're on top of the situation, which we are."
  • A dedicated Police Intelligence Cell headed by the former chief constable Sir John Evans has been formed to supervise security arrangements for the tournament. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, played down the security concerns: "I don't see any tensions here. I see a hugely exciting occasion, and one that will help the victims of the Lahore incident."
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"'Catch the Spirit' is one of the themes of the ICC's ongoing centenary year of 2009 and it highlights the respect with which the game is played around the world. We are extremely grateful to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the hosts, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Surrey County Cricket Club, for allowing the match to take place under this banner."

"We hope this match, watched by millions both at the ground and around the world will portray cricket in a positive light, make a positive contribution to the lives of those affected by those terrible events in March and contribute to assisting community-based projects across the Asian subcontinent that promote peace through cricket."

Ijaz Butt, the PCB's chairman, added: "The attack in Lahore was a terrible shock and we have immense sympathy for all those who were affected by the incident.

"The PCB provided support to the families of the victims immediately after the attack and it is encouraging to see the rest of the cricket world coming together in this way."

Details of how spectators and companies can contribute to the initiative will be announced during the match.