DAMBULLA, Sri Lanka, 24 June, 2010 -- Besides batting overs, taking runs and losing innings, South Asia's top cricketers were bowling a hat trick of another kind during the Asia Cup -- which wrapped up here today as India prevailed over Sri Lanka in the final match.
Earlier in the tournament, the four skippers of four of the biggest cricket-playing nations in the world -- Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and Bangladesh's Shakib al Hasan -- took their eye off the ball briefly to speak from their heart about children.
At a joint press conference held by the Asian Cricket Council and UNICEF, the message to governments and communities was clear: Invest in good nutrition, sanitation and girls' education -- three critical interventions to save children's lives.
"We don't just care about cricket," said Mr. Sangakkara. "We are fathers, we are husbands, we are brothers and we care about our communities. They are our families, our fans and they are our people. If we really care about our fans, we have to know what's going on in these communities. And good nutrition and sanitation and girls' education are for us the ultimate hat trick."