The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Cricket gains ground in Binga

- Nkosilathi Sibanda Sports Reporter

TALK about Binga and the most interestin­g things that come to mind are the magnificen­t hot springs, the clear water beaches and the hospitalit­y that the BaTonga community are famed for.

Mention the sport of cricket in the same sentence with Binga and the most ardent reader of Zimpapers Sports and BaTonga community member will wonder how the two are related.

Well, things have changed and Binga can now proudly call itself a breeding ground for future cricket players through a budding project, the Kumusha Cricket Ekhaya fronted by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC).

The programme has brought light to the Binga community as the sport has now gained ground in the resort area.

For a sport that was once touted as elitist, it has now dawned that the “gentlemen’s game” will soon be played in places outside of urban centres.

The Kumusha-Cricket Ekhaya programme is an initiative under the ZC whose drive is to grow the sport in marginalis­ed areas throughout the country.

In the ZC programme, 31 people have been trained. Of these, nine are women.

The Binga sports community has embraced the ZC’s programme.

So far, in a short space, the ZC programme is in the process of training umpires and budding players who in the near future are set to offer valuable service to the sport.

Binga Sport Community representa­tive Recent Ncube said there is an overwhelmi­ng response from schools who want to form clubs.

He said what pleases them is that cricket has finally arrived in Binga.

In the past years, athletics, football, volleyball and netball have been visible in the district.

“We applaud the Zimbabwe Cricket’s Kumusha-Cricket Ekhaya programme. It is very much beneficial. A lot of coaching and umpiring courses have been conducted.

“Cricket has generated much interest from the youth. This will help in the reduction of drug and substances abuse, a feat that will serve well in reaching Vision 2030 that is championed by the Government,” said Ncube.

He said the ZC’s initiative has empowered coaches in schools and communitie­s around Binga in a developmen­t that will be a stepping stone to introducin­g the sport in schools and community clubs.

While there has not been any cricket structure in Binga, Ncube said it was work in progress.

“We are in the genesis of what will be a big project. As yet, we have no structure but we are in the process of setting up a structure that will spearhead cricket developmen­t to all corners of Binga. This will be done through the assistance of the District Schools Inspector’s (DSI) office,” he said.

The introducti­on of cricket in Binga has got the community believing that sport will be a beacon of hope.

“The community is excited, very happy to have such a sport code. Binga is a tourist hub and the introducti­on of cricket will boost tourism in the district and attract investors and infrastruc­ture developmen­t, more so, create employment. Cricket is a source of livelihood. This is one sport that will break the chain of poverty,” he said.

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