Stanbic Stragglers Week unearth gems

HARARE - An exciting week at the Stanbic Stragglers Junior Cricket extravaganza came to an end last Friday at Hartman House and St George’s College.

Over 500 fledgling cricketers took part in the grassroots developmental tournament that was graced by the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) leadership led by board chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani, national team captain Graeme Cremer and ex-spin maestro Raymond Price among others.

The children were drawn from different areas comprising those from the high density suburbs and some from medium, low and affluent suburbs.

The format of the event allowed the kids to play their game in a more relaxed environment with every player getting an opportunity to bat and ball.

Chipembere Primary School represented Highfield and adopted the name Zimbabwe in that 20 overs match while Glen View played under the banner of Rocview Cricket Academy with the name Namibia.

Zimbabwe (Highfield) went on to win the match by five runs but not without facing obstacles from a stubborn top-order partnership between Leon Zhakata (50 retired out) and Tadiwa Nyaho (33 caught).

This was a combination of hard-hitting by Zhakata and ingenuity stroke-play from miniscule Nyaho, who certainly won the hearts of many fans in attendance.

“It was a good game and a good week for many of us aspiring cricketers as we took part in these five uninterrupted of days of cricket,” Nyaho told the Daily News.

“Coming from poor backgrounds although our parents are very rich in their hearts and support for the game, we don’t really get an opportunity to play on some fantastic cricket grounds like the ones found here at Hartman House and St George’s College.

“It’s unfortunate I was dismissed while trying to get a single and rotate the strike as much as I could but such are the hazards associated with batting; one silly mistake and you are gone.

“That match was supposed to play out as a friendly match but given the positive rivalry between us no one wanted to lose and it was nice to see how competitive boys can be against each other.”

Nyaho is no surprise inspired by former Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu, who is now the ZC convenor of selectors.

ZC development coach in charge of Glen View Brighton Mhembere said going forward they will try to arrange games against Highfield.

“A good tournament for the kids we all saw the potential in these players and for us I think we need to make our existing working relationship and bond with Highfield pay dividends by utilising the facilities at Takashinga Sports Club so that the players get used to playing on proper wickets,” Mhembere said.

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