The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cup captains pitch in to fight AIDS

Cape Town, Feb. 8: Nasser Hussain and Carl Hooper couldn’t make it, but that didn’t detract from LG Electronics’ initiative in supporting the cause of AIDS awareness. Indeed, LG (one of the two official global partners of the World Cup) needs to be complimented for getting all 14 Cup captains to act as Brand Ambassadors with a difference.

Though ‘Cricket First’ is the LG promo line, last night’s theme (at the Table Bay Hotel) was AIDS Awareness First. Given the inroads made by AIDS, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Many, in fact, treated the function as a “build-up” to the February 14 March for HIV/ AIDS Treatment to Parliament (in this city itself). And, in an unusual gesture, 14 AIDS victims were around to present each captain with that symbolic red ribbon. Given the tone, it didn’t matter that two had to keep the ribbons to themselves.

While an extraordinary meeting over Zimbabwe kept the England captain away, Hooper got stuck in a traffic snarl after a late evening workout at Newlands.

Later, speaking to The Telegraph, Indian captain Sourav Ganguly said cricketers have a “larger responsibility” and the coming together of all Cup captains was an excellent way of fulfilling that.

Incidentally, South African manager Goolam Raja pitched in by coordinating the captains’ presence. He also liaised with NGOs supporting the cause.

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