VP Mohadi visits proposed cricket academy in Esigodini BRICK BY BRICK . . . Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani (left) explains to Vice President Kembo Mohadi (second from left), Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Evelyn Ndlovu (third from left), Deputy Minister of Sport, Arts, Recreation and Culture Emily Jesaya (second from right) and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Nicholas Moyo (right) during yesterday’s tour of the ZC academy in Esigodini

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VICE President Kembo Mohadi yesterday toured the proposed Zimbabwe Cricket Academy in Esigodini where he challenged the community to safeguard it as their very own asset..

Addressing the community, cricket family, and other stakeholders including schoolchildren and the business sector, the national leader said the community must safeguard the investment being made. 

“This is a facility to be proud of, it’s yours, protect it, make it viable. Quite several national cricketers like the late Heath Streak came from Esigodini. Let us use it to better ourselves,” 

The Vice President said it would create employment for locals and also contribute in the long run to the development of the sport with some kids from the region taking cricket up as a career.

Zimbabwe Cricket chose the old Ncema Country Club in the rich gold mining and agriculture district centre to be the new centre of excellence in Matabeleland. This is set to revolutionalise the sport’s development in the province and region and also boost sports tourism a sector that the country is also focusing on. 

Tavengwa Mukhuhlani, the Zimbabwe Cricket president, told Zimpapers Sports Hub that they expect the facility to have taken shape by year-end. 

Development appeared to have stalled after an announcement and ground-breaking ceremony some years ago.

But during  the tour yesterday, it was evident from what Vice President Mohadi was shown, that ZC means business. 

Work has begun at the centre with good turf blooming, a water tank installed and bricks on site. 

A three-star boarding facility for visiting teams will also be constructed to offer the best accommodation in Esigodini. 

Previously teams stayed in Bulawayo and commuted after matches. 

In full swing, the facility will house development players and also be home for activities of other sporting disciplines. 

VP Mohadi said sport was an industry that still needs to be grown. 

He said it has the potential to develop into a big employer hence the challenge to develop cricket and not to leave out other sporting disciplines that young sportspersons may be gifted in. 

In emphasising the need to take sport seriously VP Mohadi said: “Sport is a profession that needs to be nurtured here in Zimbabwe. 

“Under sport, we have several disciplines like soccer, netball, and athletics that are administered by the Ministry of Sports and Culture. 

“There has to be structures so that sport grows as a profession, we want to see sports grow to an extent where Zimbabwe is a powerhouse.” 

Zimbabwe athletes continue to make an impression in the world and more are making in-roads at the summit of world sport. 

VP Mohadi said it was pleasing to note that the soils are good for cricket pitch development, and bowling  in particular . 

“We have the best soils where cricket can be played here at Ncema Valley Sports Club. This is good for cricket, I am told it is good for spin bowling,” said VP Mohadi. 

Mukhuhlani had earlier briefed Vice President Mohadi that Ncema Valley soils were like those at Queens in Bulawayo whose favourable turf tended to favour spinners. 

“Taking India to Bulawayo is like them playing at home because of the soils,” said the ZC boss who is also a national legislator. 

The VP  encouraged school-going kids to take up cricket. 

Provincial cricket boss Arthur Maphosa said he was excited with the development in his area of jurisdiction. He said that would go a long way in the development of the sport when all the talent identified from the province will be taken to the centre for further grooming.

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