Stanbic Bank has been commended for its contribution towards junior cricket development through sponsoring the annual Stragglers Junior Cricket Week.
The Stragglers Junior Cricket Week roars into life this morning, with budding cricketers showcasing their talents under the watch of coaches and scouts.
Stragglers tournament chairperson Win Ives said Stanbic’s contribution was imperative to the success of Stragglers Junior Cricket Week.
“Among many other areas, Stanbic Bank assists greatly in hosting the development sides that join us. It is the one event of the year where 500 young cricketers can showcase their abilities," Ives said.
The cricket week has been running for over 60 years and Ives applauded Stanbic Bank for being involved in about half of that period.
During the week-long event, the budding cricketers from different backgrounds rub shoulders.
It attracts youngsters from Bindura, Shamva and Bulawayo, where they play limited overs cricket.
The grade 4s and 5s cricketers play in the morning and the grade 6s and 7s in the afternoon. The players are placed into teams named after cricketing countries — Zimbabwe, West Indies, India, England, Australia and Sri Lanka, among others. The “countries” challenge each other every day during the week in limited overs matches.
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All cricketers are rotated and every player has a chance to bat and bowl. Certificates are awarded to high achieving cricketers.
Ives said the model is fine-tuned every year to ensure it runs smoothly.
“Every year, we have budding cricketers who are successful in their school cricketing careers and endeavour to go further after school. While we do not keep track of all of them, it is always exciting to see some familiar names in the senior school age groups and at national level,” Ives said.
She said Stragglers exposes the development sides to all levels of talent and gives them the opportunity to play the game with sides they would not normally play against. Ives said the Stragglers Junior Cricket Week was designed to share the passion and the love of the cricket game, adding that this is achieved annually as the young cricketers leave the week wanting to play more and having established firm friendships around the game.
“Every year, Stragglers Junior Cricket Week showcases a huge amount of talent and passion. This, we feel is essential for the survival and future of cricket in Zimbabwe. The demographics of Stragglers Junior Cricket Week are very broad and lifetime friendships are created during the week, thanks to this wonderful game of cricket and, of course, Stanbic Bank,” Ives said.
Stanbic Bank acting head (brand and marketing) Tariro Memo said the leading financial services institution was committed to playing its part in shaping the future of cricket in the country through the programme.
“Cricket is among the top sporting disciplines in the country and as a bank, Stanbic is pleased to play a pivotal role in nurturing talent from a tender age as we appreciate that these young ones are tomorrow’s Chevrons. Recent sterling performances by the senior cricket teams have spurred us to keep supporting Stragglers given that the sport is not only growing in popularity, but the performance levels have risen as well,” Memo said.