Uprising embarks on US$2m cricket ground project

Uprising founder and chairperson, Claudius Mukandiwa, (left) and club coach Alouis Tichana (right) receive their NPL third place cheque from Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association chairperson, Tafadzwa Madhoro.

HIGH-RIDING cricket powerhouse, Uprising Cricket Club (Uprising) has rolled out an ambitious US$2 million cricket ground construction project in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza to consolidate their profile as the future of the gentleman’s game in the country.

Still fresh from back-to-back podium finishes in the National Premier League 45 Overs and the NPL T20 Blast where they finished third and second respectively, the club's administrators have not splashed the financial resources accompanying the wins. Instead, they have used the large chunk of their wins in erecting pillars right round their vast seven-hectare parcel of land located just behind Chitungwiza Town Centre. The idea is to fence off the land as the journey of a thousand steps begins with the laying off of the first step.

Founder and club chairperson, Claudius Mukandiwa said having achieved their main aim of exposing the game of cricket to the masses in Chitungwiza from an elitist sport back in the days, giving them a facility in their backyard is now a priority.

“Our dream is to have a state-of-the-art facility, but we are going to approach it in stages. Our bill of quantities with BAC Quantity Surveyors then, for just a standard cricket stadium came up to about US$900 000, but obviously as we look into the future and what we envisage on the facility being a state-of-the-art ground, we are looking at around US$2 million,” Mukandiwa told Standard Sport.

“That has always been our dream, bringing the game including international teams to the masses. That is the only way our community will appreciate that the so called elitist sport has really come to the people and we hope and pray that the 2027 World Cup Qualifiers warm up matches will be played at this venue in question.

“Having a ground of our own means a lot to the development of cricket in Chitungwiza. The time spent by players travelling to Harare in search of good facilities will be cut down totally and also the issue of transport fares to and from Harare will be a thing of the past. This is a huge burden to parents who are already struggling; selling vegetables and tomatoes at Chikwanha market, as they strive to feed their families and at the same time want to give their children transport money to go and play cricket in Harare. It will surely be a sigh of relief to parents and truly a dream come true to all cricketers living in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza.”

Uprising was formed just before the turn of the millennium in 1999 by a group of five resilient cadres, Mukandiwa, Spencer Rupiya, Rob Bailey and Kelvin Masekesa and today Chitungwiza boasts of being the mainstay of cricket development in the country.

“There is no doubt that Chitungwiza is the future of cricket in Zimbabwe. We have the numbers and being the third largest town population wise speaks volumes. Talent is in abundance in the dormitory town and it just needs to be tapped and then exposed at the highest level,” he said.

“Uprising Cricket Club never lost its way since inception. We have always had structures in place that would ensure that the club is run transparently, professionally and efficiently. We have always had a sound technical department that is always scouting and exposing talent. The kind of professionalism showcased by the structures within the club has actually got us to the level that we are today.”

Takashinga Cricket Club, the face of Black Cricket in Zimbabwe currently boasts of an internationally satisfied hosting venue and has added an Academy House on the facility and Mukandiwa admits getting some inspiration from the Highfield-based side.

“Takashinga are our bigger brother and we have learnt a lot from them as we grew up to a big club as well. They also fought hard the racial segregation during those days, hence they came up with a formidable outfit out of Highfield,” he said.

“They taught us to be men as we grew up in the dusty town of Chitungwiza. We are now proud to say we are the second biggest black cricket club in Zimbabwe after Takashinga, as we went through the same ideological teachings as theirs.”

Mukandiwa has called on stakeholders within and out of Chitungwiza to be part of the club’s Silver Jubilee next year by playing a role in the construction of the cricket stadium.

“My message to potential partners is, come and let us all be a part of this great history. This will be the first of its kind in Chitungwiza. There is no recreational facility in the dormitory town and this will bring people from all walks of life together to socialise, as they will all be mixing and mingling and united all in the name of sport,” added Mukandiwa.

“Come and invest in Chitungwiza and be part of the greatest ever developmental project that shall benefit the whole community, the province and the nation at large.”


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