BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Former Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Elton Chigumbura, who called time on a long career last year, has set up an academy in a bid to aid the development of the game in the country.
Chigumbura retired from international cricket during the country’s tour of Pakistan last year, having been part of the national team set up for 16 years.
Then, he played 14 Tests, 213 ODIs and 57 T20is while his swansong for the country was the third and finals T20I of the series which ended in an eight wicket defeat for Zimbabwe on November 10.
Chigumbura, who was named one of the assistant coaches at Eagles in the technical appointments made by Zimbabwe Cricket for the domestic competitions, has in the past tried to establish an academy.
“I can confirm that the Elton Chigumbura Academy is up and running and registration has already begun. The idea is to develop talent and help cricketers achieve maximum potential as well as give them the best chance to become world class cricketers,” Chigumbura told NewsDaySport.
“We also would like to work with Zimbabwe Cricket to spread the game across the country. We grew up playing cricket and it is all we did, but at the academy we plan to teach other aspects of the sport so that if one fails to become a professional player they can choose other cricket-related careers.
“So you realise that we will have video analysis and lectures on cricket at the highest level. We will include lessons on how to umpire, how to score, looking after cricket fields and refresher courses for professional players,” he said.
According to Chigumbura, the academy has already established centres where they will operate in Highfield high-density suburb, Harare, while efforts are being made to find a place in the city centre.
The plan is to spread to other places across the country over time.
In terms of age groups, the academy will be open to athletes from the age of six to 23, both male and female.
“Another interesting aspect to this project is that we are looking to assist kids from disadvantaged backgrounds and we have already taken a number of kids from Chinyaradzo Children’s Home who will be training with us.
“Starting an academy is something that has always been on my heart. I tried to open one a few years ago and I had some challenges and since then it’s something that has been on my mind,” he said.
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