Legendary English footballer David Beckham on Wednesday said he is really happy to be in India for the very first time and his visit could not have come at a more perfect time during the festive season and the Cricket World Cup happening at the same time.
Mr Beckham, who was in the stands at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, enjoying the semifinal of the ongoing ODI World Cup between India and New Zealand, is currently in the country as a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
The International Cricket Council has entered into a partnership with UNICEF to empower women and girls and promote inclusion and gender equality through cricket.
On his visit to India and work as the UNICEF goodwill ambassador, the former England football captain told Reuters, “I have been waiting for a long time to come to India. This is my first time here and I was looking forward to it. My work with UNICEF began a long time ago when I was probably 17 years old with Manchester United in Thailand, and I then became a global ambassador in 2015…With UNICEF, we focus on boys and girls, but our main focus is on girls at the moment.”
“It has been an incredible experience so far. I enjoy the field trips I was in Gujarat, and the people of Gujarat were amazing to me. Going to Gujarat University, meeting young innovators and young kids that were 14-19 years old coming up with incredible inventions that can make change. A 14-year-old young boy came up with an invention that was all about reminding his grandparents to take their medication on time and these things are going to make a huge change,” he added.
Earlier, on Wednesday, India opted to bat first and scored a humongous 397/4 in their 50 overs. Skipper Rohit Sharma (47 in 29 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes) and Shubman Gill (80 in 66 balls, with eight fours and three sixes) set the hosts off to a rollicking start with a 71-run opening stand.
Virat Kohli (117 in 113 balls, nine fours and two sixes) posted his 50th ODI ton, while Shreyas Iyer (105 in 70 balls, with four boundaries and eight sixes) scored his second-successive WC century, helping India post a massive score. KL Rahul also delivered a 20-ball cameo of 39 runs, with five fours and two sixes.
Tim Southee (3/100) was the pick of the bowlers for the Kiwis. Trent Boult (1/86) also got a wicket.
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