Zimbabwe news April 1, 2011

Chigumbura plans to open cricket academy

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura is planning to establish a cricket academy in Harare. Chigumbura hopes the project, named 'Aspired Cricket Academy', will be up and running by August this year and will target primary school children from schools that do not currently have cricket programmes.

"I have gained so much from playing the game, so I thought I should give back in a big way," Chigumbura told The Independent. "I love cricket so much that even when I stop playing I will still be a big fan so I am contributing in my own way to make sure that the future of the sport in the country is bright.

"We have the Interfin Bank Cricket Academy catering for secondary and high school students and I thought we should have something for the primary schools so that we generate interest at an earlier stage."

Chigumbura is in negotiations to secure land in Borrowdale, in Harare's northern suburbs, for the academy. He has decided to take on a lot of the expense himself, but is also hoping to secure corporate sponsorship, particularly for the purchase of cricket equipment. He estimates that the academy needs about US$50,000 to get off the ground, which will go towards securing land, equipment, and appropriate playing and practice facilities.

"It's an expensive project which will require that I get sponsorship but the important thing is to get it running first then I am sure we can generate corporate interest once in motion."

Chigumbura plans for the academy to be operational throughout the year with permanent coaches to run it when he is committed with the national team or his domestic franchise. He's also hoping some of his team-mates will be interested in helping out.

He has already teamed up with fellow Zimbabwe cricketers Prosper Utesya, Tinashe Panyangara, Craig Ervine, Graeme Cremer and Hamilton Masakadza to conduct holiday cricket sessions at Prince Edward School in Harare from April 18 to 30. The players are hoping the sessions, which are free and open to children between seven to 12 years old, will become a yearly event and have sent out invitations to schools.

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  • Trevor on April 4, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Ray Price standing a good chance of bowling out Elton gets the ball, Elton on the striker's end just shaping up for Ray Price's delivery. Ray Price on his short run-up, this is getting interesting. Flights the ball so well, it pitches in line, good length Elton attempts to play sweep and misses and it hits him straight on the pad, there wasnt too much turn on that one and it was surely going to break middle. Huge appeal from Zim Cricket fans, a very confident appeal, umpire Russell Tiffin raises his finger...Elton begins to walk out but wait we have TV Referrals and Elton asks for a referral (buy planning on building an academy) oooohhh Myy Wooord!! Our referral umpire Peter Chingoka is waiting to make a decision, taking his time while Zim Cricket Fans and Ray Price look on!!!

  • Philip on April 2, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    Not hard to be impressed with the idea and its proponent.

  • Andrew on April 1, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    Well done Elton! Very good move to mainline cricket to a wider group of young players. It can only yield good results if more schools are involved. Also, well done to the rest of the guys for your workshops with young cricketers. You are leading by example in this regard so nuf respect! @Rolayh what are you trying to say? Are you saying that the Zim players need to attend their own academy for primary school children? We are not that bad mate!

  • Gaurav on April 1, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    I think it will be good zimbabwe if this acadeamy is opened up soon..im going to attend it !!!

  • Yasir on April 1, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    Good step for Zimbabwe cricket... I think their current squad also needs to attend the academy to compete at highest level

  • Sam on April 1, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    Good going captain! U surely will get sponsorship. All they want is accountability

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