A Bradford humanitarian charity is helping to set up a cricket academy aimed at bringing street children in Pakistan out of poverty.

Basic Human Rights, based in Sunbridge Road, is working with the Al Zarooni Foundation and Customs Cricket Academy in Karachi to hold a five-year Sports and Education Scholarships Programme.

It will initially run as a pilot, with cricket trials for children from the slums of Karachi and rural parts of Sindh, leading to the selection of 20 children who will be supported through five years of education and training.

According to Basic Human Rights there are 1.2 million children on the streets of Pakistan’s major cities and urban centres.

Founder of the Bradford charity Anjum Tahirkheli said: “Our overall aim is to ensure that children have access to their basic rights of food, shelter, water and education.

“Through the Sports and Education Scholarship Programme we hope to give a handful of children a unique opportunity to fulfil their potential and go on to do great things, by recognising their full potential and being able to achieve that potential to the maximum is what every parent wants for their children.

“These children will be given that opportunity through the Al Zarooni Foundation and BHR Education and Sports scholarship programme.”

Basic Human Rights has been supporting flood-affected parts of Pakistan and is in the early stages of setting up a children’s hospital in the country.

Al Zarooni Foundation founder Suhail Al Zarooni said: “Children are the future of Pakistan and therefore they should be given the best opportunities to help them in achieving their goals. Al Zarooni Foundation in partnership with BHR will work with the educational institutions to expose the great talent that the students and youth have in Pakistan to the outside world.

“We believe that this scholarship programme will give the best possible life chances to these street children and those in the disaster affected areas of Sindh.”

Customs Cricket Academy will be responsible for running the programme, which has been backed by Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi.

He said: “I strongly believe that the country can progress if the children, particularly those who are less fortunate, are given a chance such as this being offered by Basic Human Rights and Al Zarooni Foundation.”