Kenya to host cricket tournament to raise awareness of rhino poaching

2018-06-12 06:30:47 GMT2018-06-12 14:30:47(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NAIROBI, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The Ol Pejeta conservancy in the northern Kenyan country of Laikipia will host teams from around the cricketing world who will compete in tournaments in memory of Sudan, the world's last northern male white rhino.

Sudan died on March 19 at the age of 45. Ol Pejeta Conservancy said in a statement on Monday that 18 cricket teams will play 34 short format tournaments over three days to honor the late Sudan and raise awareness surrounding the plight of the world's last two remaining northern female white rhinos.

The cricket tournaments will be part of the Last Male Standing Rhino Cup, an initiative that tries to connect cricket with the global awareness surrounding the threats facing the iconic land mammals.

"There has been a dramatic escalation in rhino poaching in recent years with over 7,000 rhinos killed in the last decade across Africa and shockingly there are now only two northern white rhinos left on the planet," said Rob Stevenson, the tournament director and founder of the Rhino Cup.

He underscored the critical role of mainstream sports like cricket in promoting the conservation of endangered species like the rhinos. "The Last Male Standing Rhino Cup is about drawing on the global love for the game of cricket to help combat poaching of the rhino and help raise much needed funds for Ol Pejeta conservation work," Stevenson said.

Stevenson also went on to say that the recent passing of Sudan "highlights the need to take action" when it comes to the issue of rhino poaching.

Cricket teams from Australia, Kenya, Britain, South Africa and Mauritius will participate in the tournaments that are expected to raise 20,000 U.S. dollars to support conservation and livelihood projects.

Richard Vigne, the CEO of the Ol Pejeta conservancy said world renowned cricketers will help shine a spotlight on the plight of the rhino species whose survival is at stake due to poaching and climate related shocks.