The Sri Lankan cricket team has congratulated the Commonwealth on its Peace at the Crease initiative.
Secretary-General Scotland launched the Peace at the Crease initiative last year. Building on the Commonwealth’s global leadership in using sport as a tool to advance social and economic development goals such as good health and wellbeing, peace and gender equality, this initiative aims to create a network of governments, cricketing and sporting bodies and community organisations, and includes training and capacity building to use sport, and cricket in particular, to further catalyse the achievement of these goals.
During a reception to honour the team at the country’s high commission in London, High Commissioner Manisha Gunasekera and team captain Dimuth Karunaratne, presented a commemorative signed bat to Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.
Emphasising the power of cricket to foster peace and drive sustainability, innovation and environmental conservation, Miss Gunasekera said: “At this particular moment of great challenge to our nation when we have faced such tragedy and loss, the participation of our team in the ICC World Cup offers us hope. It unites us and makes us resilient.
“Cricket is also a lot about the Commonwealth. I am pleased to say that Sri Lanka Cricket champions the Commonwealth Peace at the Crease initiative which uses cricket as a tool to promote peace, reconciliation and sustainability throughout the Commonwealth family of nations. I thank Sri Lanka Cricket and our national team for the Peace at the Crease endorsement they have so generously provided.”
Receiving the gift, the Secretary-General said she will treasure the token forever. She spoke to the audience about the Commonwealth’s work to maximise sport’s contribution to sustainable development.
She said: “The fact we are meeting at the Sri Lankan High Commission is important for all of us because it comes hard on the heels of one of the most hateful, tragic and heart-breaking events in our joint Commonwealth history, the tragedy that took place on Easter Sunday.
“But I am proud of our Commonwealth, because all our countries rose as one to say ‘these terrorists will never divide us and we will stand together against them’. Peace at the Crease is an important response to this need for peace-building. This initiative will make a huge difference in bringing us together and utilising the quintessentially Commonwealth sport of cricket to accelerate achievement of our Sustainable Development Goals.”