Chitungwiza has the best cricket talent in Zimbabwe - Manyama

Manyama is one of the upcoming stars from the dormitory town who are yet to unleash their full potential.

Rising cricket all-rounder Takunda Manyama believes Chitungwiza has become a cricket powerhouse and could completely dominate all the national teams in the near future.

Manyama is one of the upcoming stars from the dormitory town who are yet to unleash their full potential.

The 20-year-old cricketer was one of the top performers for Uprising in the National Premier League T20 Blast last year.

Uprising lost a thrilling final to Takashinga Patriots by just three runs at the Harare Sports Club.

Manyama is of the view that the rise of players from Chitungwiza Wessley Madhevere, Clive Madande and Milton Shumba among others to the national team has inspired a lot of young cricketers in the community to dream big.

"Chitungwiza is producing the best cricket players at the moment. It won't be a surprise to see a national team with players from Chitungwiza only in the near future. The amount of upcoming talent in this town is just out of this world.

What is lacking at the moment is just the exposure," he said in an interview with The Sports Hub.

"All the young people in Chitungwiza have been inspired by those players who have managed to make it to the senior national team such Wesley Madhevere, Tony Munyonga, Milton Shumba, Clive Madande and Tadiwanashe Marumani. We all want to emulated these guys," Manyama added.

It has taken a while for Manyama to make the big break onto the local cricket scene but having made it into the Mashonaland Eagles team this season it could be the opportunity he has been waiting for.

After all his journey has not been that easy since the day he started playing cricket in the dusty streets of Chitungwiza.

He reflects on his journey where he had to arm twist kids in the neighborhood to allow him to play cricket with them.

And among these kids was Madhevere and Farai Gunda.

"It all started at home in Unit M, Chitungwiza when I was in primary school. There were some kids who used to play street cricket outside our yard. They would sometimes hit the ball into our yard and my mother would confiscate the ball saying you will break my windows," recalls Manyama.

"At that time I used to stay indoors all the time and didn't have friends while at the same time I loved cricket. One of the days I picked the ball that had been hit into our yard and I approached the guys and made a deal with them to say I can only return their ball if they agree to play with me and teach me how to play cricket. They agreed and my cricket journey took off.

"They are the same guys Wessley Madhevere, Farai Gunda and others who introduced me to cricket at St Aidens Primary School where  I learnt. It only took me one training session at school to impress the coaches and before long I was playing for the school team and winning a lot of accolades individually and as a team," he said.

At St Aidens, Manyama won every possible cricket accolade there was for the school and at individual level.

A cricket scholarship saw him take his cricket to Churchill   High School where he also excelled.

Manyama played for all the Mash Eagles age group teams beginning at Under-13 while he was a reserve for the Zimbabwe Under-19 cricket team.

He also played for Chitungwiza-based club Gladiators which has produced most if not all the players from the town who have made it big.

The dream for Manyama is to play cricket at the highest level and also in the top cricket franchises across the world.

"As a cricket player my dream is to play cricket at the highest level, in all the big leagues across the world such the SA T20, IPL and Big Bash among others. The dream is to play for the national team and achieve great things," he said.

He paid tribute to the coaches who have played a pivotal role in his development.

"I am grateful to coaches like Malcolm Chikuwa, Kudakwashe Chigurupati and Alois Tichana who have helped me to be where I am today.

"I am also inspired by Victor Nyauchi as a cricketer. We play together on the same team but he has helped with my bowling and he encourages me a lot and I am thankful for that.

My role model on the international scene is Jason Holder. I am also grateful to my family who are very supportive and they are always encouraging me to keep pushing, to train and to do well," he said.

Away from cricket Manyama's dream is to be an economist. He did commercials at A Level and  got nine points when the results came out in January this year.

He is pursuing studies while also playing cricket.

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