National cricket team batsman Ryan Burl yesterday retraced his footsteps back to the Stragglers Festival where it all started for him.
BY GARISH PHIRI
This year’s edition of the popular Stragglers Festival started on Monday and will run for a week.
Some of the national cricket team players have been taking time to go and offer advice and inspiration to the budding cricketers.
“This is an awesome event. This is where I personally started when I was around Grade 3 or 4. It’s four to five days long. What I found well about is as much as it’s five days of consistent cricket, you get to meet a lot of friends as well as playing guys you wouldn’t normally play with on the school calendar. This is an opportunity for that,” Burl said.
“I urge these youngsters to have as much fun as they can and they should express themselves, not always be limited and also should try going out of the box. Cricket is evolving so they should have fun” he said.
During the festival, boys from different schools converge to play limited overs cricket and get tips from some of the top cricket coaches and selected members of the Zimbabwe national cricket team.
The Grade 4 and 5 cricketers play in the morning and the Grade 6 and 7s in the afternoon.
The players are placed into teams named after cricketing countries such as Zimbabwe, West Indies, India, England, Australia, and Sri Lanka. Each country challenges a different country every day during the week in limited overs matches.
All cricketers are rotated and every player has a chance to bat and bowl. Certificates are awarded to high-achieving cricketers twice a day throughout the week.
Stanbic Bank has been sponsoring Stragglers Cricket Festival since 2006 as part of its commitment to contribute to the well-being of the communities in which it operates.
Stanbic local non-executive board member, Valentine Mushayakarara, was pleased to see a high turnout at this year’s edition.
“I am very happy. I am quite impressed with the turnout; I didn’t expect to see so many kids. It’s excellent to see so many children taking interest into the sport. I urge these children to just keep training, keep working hard and their chance will come in the future” he said.