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Government to sponsor tsunami cricket series

Government to sponsor tsunami cricket series

The government is to support New Zealand Cricket's tsunami fundraising efforts by sponsoring runs scored during the Black Caps' three-match series against a World XI, Foreign Minister Phil Goff announced today.

"The government welcomes the efforts of New Zealand Cricket, and the cricketing community, to raise funds for tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.

"To get the ball rolling, we are very pleased to announce that we will sponsor each match at the rate of $20 per run scored, $1000 for every four and $5000 for every six hit," Mr Goff said.

"On that basis we expect to contribute, through the government's aid agency NZAID, around a third of a million dollars to humanitarian and relief work for tsunami victims in Sri Lanka via the New Zealand Cricket Tsunami Relief Fund.

"Other companies and individuals around New Zealand may also like to consider sponsoring the run rate for whatever amount they feel is appropriate, or making a donation to this cause.

"The money raised will go towards World Vision's relief work in Sri Lanka, and to Cricket Aid – the Sri Lankan Cricket Board's initiative to help their own people.

"While much of New Zealand's attention has been focused closer to home on Thailand and Aceh in Indonesia, we are also very mindful of the devastating impact of the tsunami on Sri Lanka, where more than 30,000 people died and tens of thousands have lost their homes," Mr Goff said.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden welcomed the government's support for the series.

"It's a fantastic offer and greatly appreciated. This series is a chance for all New Zealanders to contribute to the relief effort in Sri Lanka, and we are hopeful more companies will come on board by giving both teams something to aim at.

"With the government's sponsorship coming hard on the heels of donations by The National Bank and FICA, our tsunami fund is now on target to raise $600,000 from existing pledges."

The series beings in Christchurch on Saturday, January 22, and continues in Wellington on January 24 and Hamilton on January 26.

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