MORE than 400 Under-12 cricketers are expected to participate in a week-long junior cricket development programme being sponsored by leading financial services institution, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, which begins at Hartmann House and St George's College tomorrow.
The annual event popularly known as Stragglers Junior Cricket has been in existence since the late 60's and this year marks the 10th year with Stanbic Bank as the main sponsor.
Stragglers Junior Cricket is held every August school holidays, with a thrust to nurture young talent while also giving the young cricket enthusiasts time to have fun after a rigorous mid-year schooling term.
Stanbic Bank's head of marketing and corporate affairs, Palmer Mugavha said his institution was pleased to afford young people an opportunity to develop their skills, while at the same time enjoying themselves.
"We are humbled to play our part in developing cricket talent, especially working with young children from cricket development areas. The week-long event brings together children from all walks of life and it is always pleasing to see them interact and have fun while at the same time horning their talents," said Mugavha.
This year's tournament will feature young cricket players from areas such as Mabvuku, Highfield, Glen View, Shamva, Bindura and Chitungwiza, among others.
Players are placed into teams named after top cricketing countries such as Zimbabwe, West Indies, India, England, Australia, and Sri Lanka to name a few. Each country challenges a different country every day during the week in limited overs matches.
All cricketers are rotated and every player has a chance to bat and bowl. Certificates are awarded to high achieving cricketers.
"By sponsoring Stragglers, we are touching the lives of a cross section of young people, some of whom are better off but especially those who come from economically challenged backgrounds and we saw it fit to use sport as a vehicle to bring them together," said Mugavha.
He said participants would come out better individuals having learnt core life and sporting values such as team work, physical health, higher self-esteem and character building.
This year the programme runs from 22 to 26 August.
Last year's the event was graced by top Zimbabwe batsman Hamilton Masakadza and the then national cricket team coach Dav Whatmore as guests.
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