NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council on Tuesday named legendary Sachin Tendulkar as the ‘Global Ambassador’ for the Cricket World Cup 2023, beginning this Thursday in Ahmedabad.

Sachin, who featured in a record six 50-over World Cups will be unveiling the World Cup trophy before the inaugural clash between England and New Zealand, officially opening the tournament.

“From being a ball boy in 1987 to representing the country in six editions, World Cups have always held a special place in my heart. Winning the World Cup in 2011 is the proudest moment of my cricketing journey,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying in a press release.

“With so many special teams and players set to compete hard in the World Cup here in India, I am excitedly looking forward to this fantastic tournament. Marquee events like the World Cup seed dreams in young minds, I hope this edition too inspires young girls and boys to pick up sports and represent their countries at the highest level.”

The biggest Cricket World Cup ever will also witness an eclectic cast of ICC ambassadors – West Indies legend Vivian Richards, South Africa’s AB de Villiers, England World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan, Australia’s Aaron Finch, Sri Lanka spin great Muttiah Muralitharan, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, India’s Suresh Raina and ex-captain Mithali Raj and Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez.

Claire Furlong, ICC General Manager, Marketing & Communications, said: “It’s a real honour to have Sachin as our Global Ambassador as we celebrate the one-day game and get set for what we know is going to be the biggest Men’s Cricket World Cup ever.

“He is joined by nine fellow legends of the game who will bring the fans closer to the action and we can’t wait for it all to begin.”

MUMBAI: Dubai-based multinational logistics company DP World, which claims to operate the largest logistics network in India, has partnered with Sachin Tendulkar and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to launch a new initiative called ‘Beyond Boundaries’. The five-year initiative will aim to deliver cricket kits and equipment to grassroots cricket clubs around the world. It will see the company distribute 50 repurposed shipping containers among these clubs or stadiums, each filled with essential equipment.

Tendulkar unveiled the first container in Mumbai on Wednesday, ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which will kick off in Ahmedabad on 5 October. The first DP World container and 40 cricket kits will be placed at the Chikhalikar Sports Club in Palghar, Maharashtra, while another 210 kits will be presented to young cricketers from academies such as Achrekar Cricket Academy and Shivaji Park Gymkhana Academy.

Every container will have 250 bespoke kits, each comprising a cricket bat, helmet, gloves and pads. The containers will also serve a dual purpose as pavilions and include a built-in scoreboard, sun protection and seating, the company said.

Tendulkar said, “Cricket is becoming more global and this initiative supports the growth of the game. We’re focusing on creating cricket spaces and distributing kits in countries where cricket is not as popular. Grassroots initiatives are vital to cricket development. Talent needs nurturing and organisations like DP World must provide the support needed for athletes to thrive.”

These cricket containers will not only provide budding cricketers with a place to rest and pad up, but also a safe space for young girls, who can use them as changing rooms.

While three containers will be distributed in India, the company has not unveiled the list of countries where the other 47 will be sent. Kevin D’Souza, SVP – business development – Middle East, North Africa and India subcontinent, DP World, told Mint, “This allows us to take cricket to the grassroots right across the world and to engage with diverse communities that benefit from our logistics services. So we’re bringing sports and trade together in some way.”

The company has a large network in India, comprising five port terminals, seven rail terminals, five container freight stations, two operational free-trade and warehousing zones in Mumbai and Chennai (and one under construction in Cochin), 92 cities with express logistics centres, and more than 30 container trains. It has invested over $1.2 billion in the country, and in 2018 partnered with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), India’s first sovereign wealth fund, to create a platform to invest up to $3 billion in rail logistics, multi-modal logistics parks, container freight stations, economic zones, cold-chain infrastructure, and contract logistics.

Under the Beyond Boundaries initiative, the first container design was brought to life by local artist Sadhna Prasad, and pays homage to the Master Blaster himself, with the first 10 containers being inspired by Tendulkar’s legacy.

The initiative will be amplified throughout the course of the tournament via the ICC broadcast, with a bespoke graphic showing that 10 kits will be donated for every 100 runs scored. All kit donations will be made via the containers.