By Innocent Kurira
STANBIC Bank has been commended for its contribution towards junior cricket development through sponsoring the annual Stragglers Junior Cricket Week, which got underway in Harare yesterday.
Stragglers chairperson, Win Ives, said the bank’s contribution was key to the success of Stragglers Junior Cricket Week.
“Among many other areas Stanbic Bank assists greatly in hosting the development sides that join us. It is the one event of the year where 500 young cricketers can showcase their abilities,” said Ives.
She said the Cricket Week has been running for over 60 years and hailed Stanbic Bank for being involved for almost half of that period.
During the weeklong event the budding cricketers from different socio-economic backgrounds rub shoulders.
Some of the youngsters come from areas as far as Bindura, Shamva and Bulawayo to play limited overs cricket.
The Grade Four and Five cricketers play in the morning while the Grade Six and Seven cricketers play in the afternoon.
The players are placed into teams named after cricketing countries – Zimbabwe, West Indies, India, England, Australia and Sri Lanka, to name but a few.
All cricketers are rotated and every player has a chance to bat and bowl.
“Every year we have budding cricketers who are successful in their school cricketing career and endeavour to go further after school.
“While we do not keep track of all of them, it is always exciting to see some familiar names in the senior school age groups and at national level,” said Ives.
She said Stragglers exposes the development sides to all levels of talent and gives them the opportunity to play the game with sides they would not normally play against.
Ives said Stragglers Junior Cricket Week was designed to share the passion and the love of the game of cricket adding that this is achieved annually as the young cricketers leave the week wanting to play more and having established firm friendships around the game.
“Every year, Stragglers Junior Cricket Week showcases a huge amount of talent and passion, this we feel is essential for the survival and future of cricket in Zimbabwe. The demographics of Stragglers Junior Cricket Week are very broad and lifetime friendships are created during the week thanks to this wonderful game of cricket and of course Stanbic Bank,” said Ives.
Stanbic Bank acting head, brand and marketing, Tariro Memo said they were committed to playing their in shaping the future of cricket in the country through the programme.
‘Stragglers is one such initiative which is multi-pronged as it covers the education and sport pillars while also ensuring that the young ones stay healthy throughout the week-long event.”