Out of the ballpark: Watson gives kids 'room to read' | india | Hindustan Times
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Out of the ballpark: Watson gives kids 'room to read'

Each one of the sixes hit by Shane Watson during the match against Kenya translated into Rs 25,000 for the International Cricket Council's literacy campaign, Room to Read. Nikhilesh Bhattacharya reports.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2011 23:41 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya

Shane Watson is unlikely to have happy memories of the sixes he conceded against Kenya on Sunday. However, it is of some consolation to the Australian all-rounder that each one of those hits translated into Rs 25,000 for the International Cricket Council's literacy campaign, Room to Read.

Like a typical fast bowler though, Watson believes he got hit for three sixes at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, not four as the scoreboard says.

"I've hit only three," Watson trotted out the correct figure when asked if he was keeping an account of his contribution to the campaign. "However, I gave up three last night when I was bowling, so I guess I have contributed six so far."

Well it's actually seven, but never mind Shane. Overall there have been more than 180 sixes in the tournament and the campaign has helped around 5000 children by setting up libraries and taking care of their education.

Watson got involved with the campaign because he has had a passion for reading since he was about 18.

"It was Rod Marsh at the (Australian) Cricket Academy who got all the guys to read a book on someone who was on similar lines to them. For me that meant an allrounder. And the book I read was Fifteen Paces, the autobiography of Alan Davidson, who was a great all-rounder for Australia in the 1950s and 60s."

The 29-year-old opener who has read "over a hundred books" in the decade since his time at the academy, took a month to read Shantaram and believes the four books he is carrying with him now will last him through the three months he will spend in the subcontinent for the World Cup and the Indian Premier League. But, he learns from every book he reads.