ZRSA begins life in England

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Rising Stars Academy (ZRSA) inaugural squad’s attachment in England finally took off on Monday with the 16 talented local cricketers beginning their stint at Liverpool Cricket Club.

The cricketers were drawn from all the 10 provinces while others were fetched from South Africa to become the first beneficiaries of the Tatenda Taibu-driven developmental project.

ZRSA aims to develop at least 80 players for the various age groups and national team sides in the next five years.

After the six-month attachment in England, the players will return home to complete their apprenticeship for another six months.

The players were initially scheduled to leave for England on April 9 but their departure had to be rescheduled because of the Easter holiday. Taibu, who is also the Zimbabwe Cricket convenor of selectors, said the players will be subjected to an intensive training regime while in England.

“We will practise outdoors at a very good ground — Liverpool Cricket club with excellent facilities so we practice on a Monday we have got the facilities the whole day.

“And on Tuesday, we have got the indoor facilities for four hours where we will have video, they will be on camera and on Wednesday, during the morning and part of the afternoon it’s a life coaching skills and together with life coaching as a group and individuals and talks from other prominent sports people from different backgrounds whom we are still speaking to at the moment. On Wednesday night we have got a 25-over match we have registered into a competition,” Taibu told the Daily News.

“On Thursday, we have secured 12 fixtures four of which are against county second sides, Academies, MCCs and some of which we thought were not really strong enough for us so we turned them down and we are looking to get another four or five more and that will get us to about 40 matches for the season and we get the players involved with the clubs that will get the players playing at least 60 matches for the season.

“We will not be able to get that number of matches in Zimbabwe. And if we get that number of matches it simply means they have played against each other many a times and they are getting used to playing against each other which really doesn’t develop a player but over in England they are playing 60 matches against 60 different teams, a player will be able to develop quicker.”

The former Zimbabwe Test captain also expressed the need to prepare the players adequately before throwing them into the deep end as was the case with him when he made his debut.

“I was one of the lucky few ones why because Andy Flower took me under his wings and he treated me like a brother. I mean all the information that he had he passed on to me. So yes I was stashed in early, if I did not have the guidance of Flower which everyone knows I would have crumbled,” he said.

Zimbabwe Cricket Rising Stars Academy 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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