On Saturday the 4th to Tuesday the 7th of May, street-connected children from around the world will compete for the opportunity to be crowned World Champions and give a voice to millions of children and young people living in poverty, at the very first Street Child Cricket World Cup. Amongst the 10 national teams that will be competing in London and Cambridge is Team South India…

Shama Siddiqui

Age 14

Shama’s Career Goal – Doctor
Shama’s Dream – To become a Magic Bus Community Youth Leader

Shama lives with her parents and her five siblings in the Mumbai suburb of Mankhurd, in what’s known as an “illegal settlement”. Communities like these are not recognised by the local government, meaning that families like Shama’s have no access to running water or electricity, and live in fear of eviction, with their homes demolished.

Shama and her siblings all regularly attend school, her mother looks after the home, and her father works as a driver as the only source of income for this family of eight.

“I will practice hard to compete with other 10 teams in England!”

Irfan Labbe

Age 14

Irfan’s Career Goal – Engineer
Irfan’s Dream – To help improve the lives of others

Irfan lives with his parents and his younger brother in the Mumbai suburb of Mankhurd. His father supports the family by working as a driver.

Irfan is the first person in his family to have his own passport.

“I will feel proud to play for team India and have received good opportunity to show what I can do!”

havani Mayavan

Age 15

Bhavani’s Career Goal – Doctor

Bhavani lives in the Mumbai suburb of Mankhurd with her parents, her grandmother, and her younger brother.

Bhavani’s father supports the family, working as a contractor for the local municipality.

“I can’t even imagine that I will play cricket and represent my country!”

Mani Ratinam

Age 17

Mani’s Career Goal – Professional Cricketer
Mani’s Dream – To play cricket for the Indian National Cricket Team

Mani lives with his mother and two older sisters in the Mumbai suburb of Mankhurd. After his father died when Mani was only two years old, his mother began working as a maid to support the family.

“I’ve always been a cricket follower, and I can’t begin to imagine playing at Lords cricket ground. Coming from a small community, where we don’t have any safe space to play, it’s a big thing for us.”

Alongside Shama, Irfan, Bhavani and Mani, will be their four teammates from Chennai. These young people are supported by Karunalaya, an Indian charity dedicated to giving support to street children and child labourers in the city of Chennai.

To get warmed up for the tournament, Team South India gathered in Chennai for a special friendly match against diplomatic staff at the British Deputy High Commission. After a spirited match, Team South India came away the victors by a score of 71 to 23. To celebrate their special victory, the team were presented with a special trophy by the Deputy High Commissioner Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford.

Team South India with their well earned trophy, presented by Deputy High Commissioner Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford.

If you would like to attend the Street Child Cricket World Cup Final at Lord’s Cricket Ground on the 7th of May, please visit the Street Child United website.