THE heartache of Zimbabwe’s failure to qualify for the Cricket World Cup still fresh, one of the country’s leading sports academies has made a first step to secure the future well ahead of the imminent retirement of the core of the current Chevrons squad.
With Craig Ervine, Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza all on the wrong side of 30, the question has often found itself on the lips of concerned Zimbabwe cricket fans: is there a future after these guys, does the nation has players to seamlessly replace them?
“Yes, of course,” said youth coach Cromen Zinyama, who coaches at Hellenics School in Harare.
“The future is safe as long as there is development that’s already going on through the programmes of ZimCricket, private academies and schools. We do have that throughout the country. At Ramah, we are trying as much as we can to develop fully-groomed players to undertake any task at any given time.”
35-years-old Zinyama is co-founder of Ramah Sports Academy, initially with roots in Chitungwiza, but with a national presence now.
The thriving academy is on its way to the United Kingdom this week for the inaugural tournament of the International Council For Cricket Academies (ICCA), to be held in Northamptonshire, from 16 to 26 July.
Due to examination commitments, they will tour with 12 players – six each for the Under-13s and Under-15s squads.
The squads will then be filled with players of Zimbabwean origin living in the UK, and others travelling from the United States.
“I’m looking to coming on tour for the experience, and I will learn to play in different conditions, and I’m looking forward to meeting players from different countries, and I think I will have a great time,” said Ramah Under-15 vice-captain Fergus Watson.
The delegation for the UK has already been finalised. Zinyama, who played cricket at Churchill School and made a handful of appearances for the Mashonaland Eagles, will coach the Under-13 side while Blessing Mafuva has been put in charge of the Under-15s.
“The parents are taking care of all the travelling expenses and we got kit sponsorship from LM Auctions and Wellord,” said Zinyama. “Our boys are getting some bits and pieces we need in the UK from the Zim cricket community being led by Patrick Gada and Joseph Madyembwa.”
Six teams will take part in the inaugural event, namely: Ramah Sports Academy (Zimbabwe), Major League Cricket (USA), Coaching Beyond Cricket Academy (India), Vernon School of Cricket (UK), and Mercantile Cricket Association (Sri Lanka).
RAMAH TOURING SQUADS
Under-15s: Reuben Sanders (captain), Fergus Watson (vice-captain), Tyler Champman, Kirby Madaramate, Dwayne Gambiza, Christian des Fontaine, Priyadarsan Aravinthkumar, Akhil Kotaru (wicketkeeper), Kavin Govindaraju (wicketkeeper), AaryanBoddupally, Bharath-Venkata Yamani.
Unders-13s: Blaine Candy (captain), Cameron Oosthuizen (vice-captain), Ben Lashbrook (wicketkeeper), Tijan Nicholson, Adrian Hunda, Ryley Nkomo, Dean Chiwombe, Adithiya Dev Mitra, Aarav Sanghavi, Akshay Sripathy, Raghav Lakshmanan Abhimanyu Harish, Aarush Iyengar.-STAFF WRITER