ZC boss endorses Stragglers

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani on Wednesday paid a courtesy call at the Stanbic Stragglers tournament that ends today at St George’s College and Hartman House schools in Harare.

The ZC supremo showered praises on the hosting schools, organisers and Stanbic Bank describing the junior age-group week-long non-competitive event as “well-run”.

“This is an important developmental tournament that actually looks at the right age group with kids being introduced to the sport at a very early age and its format allows them to freely participate without the pressures of a competitive setting,” Mukuhlani said.

“It was quite exciting to see kids from as far as Bindura, Shamva, Mabvuku and Chitungwiza enjoying themselves.

“It is also key that we had some current and former national team players taking time because this gives the kids hope; it gives them encouragement and some of these players have come through such initiatives on their way to the top.

“And to the organisers it also gives them encouragement knowing that they are doing a good work. It is also vital that we have not only the players at such an important development cricket programme but even ZC officials and even the convenor of selectors because these are the sort of programmes we want.”

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer was also present at the event together with former national team players Raymond Price and Douglas Marillier among other players.

Mukuhlani said ideally it would be important to make the programme run concurrently across the country resources permitting.

“I wish we could expand the programme such the same happening in Harare would be taking place in various parts of the country,” he said.

“We are quite grateful to the organisers, the host schools St George’s and Hartman House for providing the grounds and to Stanbic Bank for bankrolling the programme.

“I learnt that they were 500 kids taking part in this event, it’s obviously a cost constraint and we would like to try and help increase the number of kids participating by way of providing kit such as bats and balls and financial assistance where we can.”

Cremer, who yesterday signed autographs for the aspiring cricketers, said the presence of other national team players stands to encourage the youngsters to take the game seriously from a tender age.

“It gets better and better every year, still a lot of support from the corporates and in this case Stanbic Bank and nice to see over 500 kids taking part in cricket for five days,” Cremer said.

“A lot of us got together to sign autographs and photos and this inspires them a bit. As ZC chairman was there on Wednesday it’s good to see that he’s showing a lot of interests in tournaments like these and it can only get better.”

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