Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) in partnership with the Ministry of Sport and Recreation, has started rolling out the newly launched rural cricket development programme dubbed ‘Cricket Kumusha’ or ‘Cricket Ekhaya’ as part of plans to to develop the game in rural areas and provide a platform for more talented players to emerge.
This follows the successful introduction of cricket in high-density suburbs in urban areas which over the years has seen the emergence of players like Tatenda Taibu, Hamilton Masakadza and Prosper Utseya, who have gone to be world start.
The pilot programme kicked off in the Midlands province last week where a three-day training of trainers’ workshop was held at Kwekwe Sports Club.
ZC head of cricket affairs, Givemore Makoni said the importance of investing in the development of talent in previously disadvantaged areas, especially rural communities, could not be over-emphasized.
“Although we already had in place a player development pathway that sets out the journey from early introduction of the game at school level up to international cricket, it has not been easy for aspiring cricketers from previously disadvantaged communities to get opportunities to play the game,” Makoni said.
“But through initiatives such as the rural cricket development programme we are now able to take cricket to rural areas and, with the Ministry of Sport and Recreation leading from the front, we are confident of success in spreading the game and unearthing talent that we believe is abundant throughout the country,” he added.
More than a dozen trainees took part in the workshop which included introductory presentations on the history of cricket, cricket equipment and basic terms.
The participants were also taken through batting, bowling, wicket-keeping, fielding and umpiring basics.
Mashonaland West is the next stop, with the training of trainers workshop for that province scheduled for this weekend, 14-16 October, in Chinhoyi.
The programme will also be implemented in Mashonaland Central (19-21 October), Bulawayo (26-28 October), Matabeleland North (2-4 November), Matabeleland South (9-11 November), Masvingo (23-25 November), Manicaland (30 November-2 December) and Mashonaland East (7-9 December).
Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane is expected to be the guest of honor at the official launch and certification ceremony to be attended by all provinces in Mberengwa, Midlands province.