Let the children play: Price

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe cricket spin-doctor Raymond Price paid a courtesy visit at Heath Streak School of Cricket on Saturday where he took the aspiring cricketers through some coaching clinics. 

The project officially opens its doors to the public at Sunrise Sports Club in Ridgeview, Harare.

Price played 22 Tests, 102 One Day Internationals and 16 international Twenty20s game for Zimbabwe after making his debut in a Test match against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club in December 1999.

The former slow-left-spinner played his last international match for the country in March 2013 away to West Indies in Bridgetown finishing with a best match bowling performance of 10 wickets for 161 runs and innings best of 6/73.

He was also joined by former teammate and current national team batsman Hamilton Masakadza while pace bowler Elton Chigumbura failed to make it on the last minute due to sudden illness.

The 41-year-old who has since rescinded off the cricketing field and enjoying a new lease of life in a different field altogether, fishing, has since grown a big pot-belly and seemed the two of them were carrying twins as he stood side-by-side with Streak who has also added a bit of weight.

“Let the kids play. We want more of these cricket developmental initiatives, there’s has been so much negativity surrounding the game lately and it’s nice to see a man like Heath Streak who has got the game at heart giving back to the country in such a big way, we can only get better,” Price told the Daily News.

“I have been away from the game for quite some time now and getting the opportunity to come and share my knowledge and experience gained over the years with these kids is such a great honour and an awesome feeling.

“There’s a lot of potential in all these kids and what they need is a good platform to showcase their talent and skill and this is where initiatives such as these come in to bridge that gap.”

Speaking at the same occasion, Indian sports management icon Joseph Rego who is the Heath Streak Consultancy chief executive and executive director lauded Streak for spreading his wings by opening up a developmental project in Harare.

The initial project launched in Bulawayo has been a success story so far and has attracted a number of stakeholders including their biggest partner Old Mutual.

Kids from between the ages of four and 14 drawn from various schools in Harare attended the inaugural launch.

“...Streak is a legend in the world of cricket not only in Zimbabwe but across the globe. He is currently the head coach of the Zimbabwe national cricket team and has a proven track record of being the best bowling coach in the world,” Rego said.

Heath Streak

“To give back to communities and the country all that he has achieved during his glorious cricketing career and with a genuine intent and desire to shape a brighter world for the children of Africa, we are establishing our second initiative — a world-class cricket facility in Harare which subsequently will turn into an international cricket stadium capable of hosting first-class and international cricket games in the coming years.

“There’s no doubt that Zimbabweans are already witnessing the fruits of our labour seeing children from less privileged environments stand up to the challenge and compete at par with those coming from more affluent background.”

Streak thanked the parents and children who attended the launch at Sunrise Sports Club.

“I would like to thank all the parents who are supporting their kids towards a profession in cricket at this very tender age and most importantly the kids themselves for their interest to play the game and march towards recognition into some respected future players of tomorrow and a big thank you to Raymond Price and Hamilton Masakadza for taking time off their busy schedule to be with us,” Streak said.