by JAMES HOOPER, The Sunday Telegraph, November 18, 2012
Source: The Sunday Telegraph
THE sticker on the base of Australian Test opener Ed Cowan’s bat reads simply “Not For Sale”.
Rather than auction the square of willow off to the highest bidder for upwards of $50,000 in sponsorship, the left-hander who plundered his maiden Test ton against South Africa has chosen to highlight the confronting social issues of human trafficking and sex slavery.
It’s not every day the latest member of the Australian Test side wants to reel off statistics about how 30 million people around the world are currently enslaved against their will, talking bondage, brothels and how the Not For Sale campaign aims to allow every kid worldwide a chance at freedom.
“There are over 30 million people in the world today that are enslaved against their will,” Cowan told The Sunday Telegraph.
“Many of these are children and, as a new dad, that certainly struck a chord with me. We’re not just talking in India or South-East Asia, there are people held in bondage all over the world.
“I live in Hobart and there have been two cases of slavery there in the last 24 months.
“There are also over 10 cases in Sydney of young girls being held against their wills in brothels.
“So it’s happening right under our noses and I thought this issue needs to get a bit of air time.
“Rather than sell the space on the back of my bat I thought I could support a fantastic social enterprise.”
Cowan has pledged to donate $1 for every run he scores in first class cricket this summer to the Not For Sale campaign and an additional $50 for every century.
After blasting a career-defining 136 against South Africa in the opening Test in Brisbane, demonstrating an aggressive side to his often-conservative stroke play, Cowan is off to a flying start.
The left-handed batsmen, who quit NSW for Tasmania three years ago, agreed to promote Not For Sale after being introduced to the organisation by his former throwing coach Jonathan Freeston.
Cowan’s stand to raise awareness for social issues underlines the generational change inside the baggy green cap inner sanctum over the past 10 years. Gone are the days of the larrikin ways of Shane Warne celebrating victory over England with a jig on the balcony at Trent Bridge or David Boon downing 52 cans of beer on a flight to the UK.
Cowan’s maiden ton virtually guarantees he will see out the summer at the top of the order in the five-day format of the game.