Project Front Foot, fuelled by the enthusiasm and spirit of Vic Mills and executed by the dedication and professionalism of coaches, Harshad and Bhavna, began in October 2009, and has been growing ever since. The Dharavi Cricket Academy season now ends with the Annual Friendship Cup (now in its second year). The tournament sees the boys come together with Salaam Bombay, Cricket India Academy and Indian Gymkhana to do what they love best, play cricket.
A great day of cricket resulted in Salaam Bombay taking home the trophy for the second year running, but more importantly, lots of tired, happy boys going home in their whites, which would more accurately be described as ‘browns’ owing to the amount of dust they’d accumulated from a day of strenuous effort on the pitch (chasing a ball down in the outfield is no mean feat given the soaring temperatures and the unforgiving midday sun).
Sitting in the limited shade of Shivaji Park we asked a few of the players what the game meant to them. “When we are there we are all together, we are all best friends” Ritesh shared. It suddenly clicks, “That is why it is the friendship cup, because we are all together with friendship”. And ultimately, that’s exactly what this day is about. Its not about who takes home the trophy. It’s about boys of different ages, castes and religions putting on their whites and being totally united by their passion for sport. It’s about a level playing field.