English cricketers visit underprivileged school children

Kolkata: The touring English cricketers today gave some 200-odd underprivileged school children a day to remember as they spent about two hours playing, singing and having loads of fun at the south Kolkata campus here.

12-year-old Rohan Thomas captained his side with the opponent`s team featuring star player Kevin Pietersen even as the former`s wicketkeeper got a special gift -- a wrist band -- from England glovesman Matt Prior.

"What a humbling experience at the Future Hope School in Kolkata. Amazing kids and amazing place giving underprivileged kids a chance!" tweeted Prior as he posted photos of him working out and playing chess at the school.

All eyes were in the Bhowanipore-located school as traffic came to a standstill when the cricketers checked in around 1pm.

"It`s a lifetime opportunity for me. We are meeting them for the second time and we struck the right chord soon after they came in. We had lots of fun playing cricket, and even beat my favourite cricketer KP!," Thomas said, showing off the wrist band given by Prior.

Rakhi Adhikari had a different experience as she wielded the hockey stick with the cricketers on the school terrace.

"Not sure they play the same hockey rules here?! Plenty of flying hockey sticks," Prior later tweeted.

The 14-year-old girl collected as many as six autographs.

"I really cannot forget this day," she said showing off her scribbling pad.

Besides cricket and hockey, the English cricketers also played chess, flexed muscles at the gymnasium and sang rhymes with the children. Captain Alastair Cook unveiled the plaque for an upcoming Future Hope Cricket Academy at the entrance of the school.

Managing trustee of Future Hope, Tim Grandage, said the players shared some experiences and gave tips to the boys.

"It was a fine experience with the kid. We hope to bring an academy and develop the boys` skills. Cricket is a religion in India and is the most competitive sport. I`m sure the boys had a fine experience," he said.


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