CRICKET giants Australia have made a commitment to time out of their busy schedule to interact with underprivileged budding cricketers from Hatcliffe Extension during their visit to Zimbabwe for a Twenty20 Tri-Series which begins on Sunday at Harare Sports Club.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Grassroots Cricket, an organisation run by a Zimbabwean based in Australia, Tawanda Karasa, who hails from Hatcliffe successfully managed to convince the cricket powerhouse to visit the largely disadvantaged community.
The historic social call is scheduled for July 4.
“The motive behind bringing the Aussies team is simply to inspire the kids. It is no mean achievement for cricket in Zimbabwe and specifically for young people of Hatcliffe. This will go a long way in inspiring the development of the sport in the area. Kids will have a chance to rub shoulders with world class heroes on this tour. I am happy to have facilitated the visit,” Karasa exclusively told NewsDay Sport from his Australia base.
“I grew up in Hatcliffe. This is a way for me to give back to my community. I formed Grassroots Cricket to use the power of cricket to educate, inspire and mobilise communities. The object is to spread the game of cricket in underdeveloped areas and provide an opportunity for underpriviledged children to enjoy a more fulfilling life,” he added
Aussies great Greg Chappell and former Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak are the two Grassroots Cricket patrons.
The tri-series that is pencilled for July 1 to 8 involves hosts Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Australia.
Cricket Australia (CA), who have been monitoring the security situation in the country following a bomb blast at a Zanu PF rally last week, are expected in the country before the weekend.
Young Achievement Sports for Development (YASD), a young people’s organisation based in Hatcliffe, are Grassroots Cricket’s implementing partners and will handle the hosting of Australia.
“It’s an exciting period for Hatcliffe Extension because the community itself has not had a proper cricket facility as well as equipment. This place where you have 200 kids sharing just six bats and a handful of ball,” YASD communications officer Joe Kuseka said.
“It’s a wakeup call to stakeholders and corporates as to where cricket development is required. Cricket is only at an introductory stage there, but there is talent in this community. It also our hope to promote education through cricket,” he said.
Hatcliffe 3 Primary School, a satellite school in the area, is set to be the biggest beneficiary of the impending visit by Australia.