JOHANNESBURG: Another iconic chapter is set to be added to the remarkable legacy story of the Betway Pink ODI when the Proteas take on the Netherlands at the DP World Wanderers Stadium on 2 April.
The Pink ODI has always been a flagship fixture on the South African cricket calendar, and this year promises to be one of the most memorable occasions in the 11-year history of this worthy event.
On Sunday, the Proteas will once again pitch up in pink – and all supporters are encouraged to do the same – in support of breast cancer awareness, education, early detection treatment and research.
This year also marks the sixth anniversary of the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital Breast Care Unit benefiting from the proceeds of this remarkable sporting event. Through the now entrenched #BePartOfIt and #PledgePink campaign, cancer patients have been able to obtain specialised treatment and care, regardless of geographical location or socioeconomic status.
The hospital, which is one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere, has over 1,000 beds and on an annual basis treats more than 200,000 patients. The Breast Care Unit – run by a team of dedicated specialists and nurses – specifically sees up to 350 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer every year and provides a service to seven district hospitals from Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo to even further afield.
The Betway Pink ODI has always sought to extend a hand to uplift those who have been affected by this devastating disease, and since the inception of this multi-faceted fixture in 2013, over R7-million has been raised from sponsors, fans, Cricket South Africa and the players themselves in support of breast cancer.
For cricket fans across South Africa, and abroad, the ‘Pink Day’ has become one of the most popular and well-attended sports fixtures in the country, and this year promises to be no different.
In fact, in celebration of this special occasion that recognises the power of the human spirit, CSA will be activating a host of new matchday experiences that will offer world-class entertainment to spectators, including a unique half-time show.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s occasion, Proteas ODI captain Temba Bavuma said it was certainly a day that “holds a special place in our hearts”.
“As a team we will be pitching up in pink, and every player will be mindful of the fact that we are playing for more than just a cricket result. The Pink ODI is a special occasion as we support raising awareness for an incredible cause that aids in both treatment and care for a disease that affects so many people.
“This is one of the most meaningful legacy projects in South African cricket, and we cannot wait to play our part in front of what I’m sure will be a massive crowd of supporters who have all pitched up in pink.”
These sentiments were echoed by CSA Chief Executive, Pholetsi Moseki, as he looked ahead to Sunday’s spectacle.
“The Betway Pink ODI serves as a rallying cry to all the cricket-loving community to open their hearts and give generously to a notable cause. It’s a day where we can celebrate the incredible work of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, as well as recognise survivors at the same time that we fondly remember those who have lost their lives to cancer.
“Dressing up in pink has become so synonymous with this cause, and we encourage people from all walks of life to make their presence felt as we aim to elevate the legacy of this iconic event to new heights.”
Besides a percentage of gate-takings going towards the Pink ODI fund, fans can also support this initiative by dressing up in pink at their homes, posting pictures to the various social media platforms, pledging pink and donating on a designated QR code. #BePartOfIt #PledgePink