ZRSCA departure postponed

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Rising Stars Cricket Academy (ZRSCA)’s departure for Liverpool, England which was scheduled for yesterday has been delayed, the Daily News has learnt.

A group of 16 talented young cricketers were selected to be part of the first group to establish the academy which is a brain-child of Zimbabwe Cricket convenor of selectors Tatenda Taibu.

The ZRSCA cricketers are supposed to stay in Liverpool for at least six months while training in world-class facilities and playing against solid opposition on a regular basis.

However, the visa application process for the cricketers has delayed their departure.

“Initially, they were scheduled to leave Zimbabwe on the 10th (yesterday) but we didn’t put into consideration the period that’s taken for the visas to be completed,” Taibu told the Daily News from England yesterday.

“We didn’t bear in mind that there was also the Easter holiday...it takes 15 working days (to have the visa processed), the Easter holiday (is) also incorporated in that so they are no longer coming on the 10th but they will come just in time for the game end of the month.”

The former Zimbabwe Test captain said he felt compelled to give back to the game after his sudden retirement and apart from being a convenor, the academy would be one such way of making sure the game lives on.

“When I left Zimbabwe Cricket through an early retirement...I always had a little bit of a guilty conscience that I did not pass the information that I had to the next generation because...there’s a lot of information to be passed in such a complex sport like cricket,” Taibu said.

“I spoke at length with John Lewis before he passed on and David Houghton as well as Andy Flower. I have got all this information about the culture of Zimbabwe Cricket and I never got the opportunity to pass that information to the next generation and I thought this could be an avenue where I could pass this information to a group of youngsters that are talented and who are looking to represent the country.

“And also as a convenor of selectors I had a small player base to choose the national team from, the A side from so as a way of increasing my player base I thought it’s imperative to have an academy which will be able to increase those numbers.”

The Academy, which is a five-year project, will see 16 young cricketers drawn from the country’s 10 provinces and beyond the borders getting half year’s attachment in Liverpool, England after which they will complete the remaining six months locally.

ZCRSA squad:

Batsmen: Ryan Burl, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Taffy Mupariwa(WK), Tafadzwa Tsiga(WK), Tarisai Musakanda

All-rounders: William Mashinge, Muhammad Faraz Akram

Seam bowlers: Carl Mumba, Blessing Muzarabani, Tendai Nyamayaro, Mkhululi Nyathi, Richard Ngarava, Kuziva Ziwira

Spin bowlers: Thamsanqa Nunu, Brandon Mavuta, Rugare Magarira

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