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The Buzz

Cricket breaks new ground in Rwanda

Makhaya Ntini was present to help mark the beginning of construction on Rwanda's first international cricket stadium

Makhaya Ntini contributed to the ground-breaking ceremony in Gahanga  •  Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation

Makhaya Ntini contributed to the ground-breaking ceremony in Gahanga  •  Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation

Work has begun on building the first international cricket stadium in Rwanda. Former South Africa quick Makhaya Ntini was present at the ground-breaking ceremony in Gahanga, just outside the capital Kigali, as the first stone was laid.
The construction of two pitches, a training facility and pavilion has been funded by the work of the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, a British charity which counts Brian Lara, UK prime minister David Cameron and England's Heather Knight among its patrons. Last year, Ntini took part in an expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro to break the record for the highest game of cricket and help raise money for the project.
"It is great to see the RCSF investing in Rwanda's future, enhancing its sporting landscape and helping to spread the game I love," Ntini said.
"Investing in facilities will build on the excellent work of the Rwanda Cricket Association and allow as many people as possible to take up the game. I look forward to seeing Rwanda taking on South Africa very soon."
The Rwanda Cricket Association has been an Affiliate Member of the ICC since 2003 but most of its income has to be spent on transporting its teams to play in neighbouring countries because Kicukiro Oval - the site of a brutal massacre during the 1994 genocide - is not up to international standard.
Construction on the new stadium will begin in earnest early next year, with Lara and Cameron in line to play in the inaugural match in 2017. The ground will also provide an educational space and free HIV testing for locals.