MADRAS, when two of India’s top cricketers paid a surprise visit to a Madras children’s hospital, the predictable result was chaos.

Arun Lal and Chetan Sharma took time off during India’s final test match against the West Indies to give their backing to a United Nations scheme to immunize the world’s children against six killer diseases by 1990.

Lal, an opening batsman, Satant role in publicizing a world immunization and antidiarrheal campaign launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“People are mad about cricket in India,” he said after being filmed extolling the virtues of inoculation against measles, tetanus, tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio and whooping cough.

Nurses and saree-clad mothers clutching babies rushed up for autographs when Lal and Sharma, a medium paced bowler, arrived at the dilapidated Madras children’s hospital.

“Immunize your children against the six killer diseases before they are one”, said Sharma speaking in India’s main language Hindi, after caressing a baby.

A camera crew hired by the local UNICEF representative, Das Gupta, shot the film of Sharma which will be broadcast on Indian television.

One of the mothers, who had brought her 18monthold boy to the institute for booster jabs, said she had recognized Sharma from seeing an Indian game on television.

“When other families see the cricketers, they will be proud to have their babies immunized”, said Likanayanki Ramamurthy, 20, whose Madras home is regularly invaded by friends and neighbors whenever Indian cricket is broadcast.

Gupta said communication was the key to getting all the children of India, which has a population of 800 million, vaccinated.

KUWAIT, Reuter: Top seeded Jahangir Khan of Pakistan overpowered compatriot Umer Hayat 90, 92, 9-1 on Sunday to win the Asian Squash Championship.

The former world champion won in a mere 29 minutes against an opponent who appeared tired after a tough semifinal on Saturday against former titleholder Qamar Zaman.

SYDNEY, Australia: Australia won the 198788 World Series Cup 20 with an emphatic victory on Sunday over New Zealand in the second of the three match cricket final.

The Australians followed their eight wickets Victory in Melbourne on Friday with a six wicket win in a rain shortened match with 23 balls to spare,

SYDNEY, Australia: The prospect of a well grassed pitch at the Sydney cricket ground earned Peace man Merv Hughes an unexpected call up when Australia announced their squad on Sunday

Article extracted from this publication >> January 29, 1988