FORMER Zimbabwe international Eddo Brandes and ex-Australian Test cricketer Carl Rackemann have joined hands with Grassroots Cricket to raise funds to support underprivileged children in the country.
Brandes and Rackemann, who also coached the Zimbabwe national team at the turn of the millennium, were the guest speakers at the fund-raising lunch held recently at the Queensland Cricketer’s Club, located at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, in Australia.
Grassroots Cricket were thrilled with the turnout and revealed the event raised more than AU$5 000 which will be put to good use on the charity’s projects in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Founder Tawanda Karasa told guests that “with enough funds, and people who want to make a difference, we feel we can make a positive difference.
“We want to help back that vital part of kids’ lives, where they get to play sport, and have facilities they can be proud of.
“This gives them social, and economic empowerment, and a more positive attitude about their future.”
Those who attended the event included prominent cricket figures, businesspeople and sportspeople.
Many are part of the Zimbabwe Diaspora, who have settled in Queensland, and want to make a difference in the land of their birth.
Funds raised by Grassroots Cricket will go towards the provision of sports coaches, life skills and projects, such as assistance with school fees, and community projects, to help provide food on the table.
The guests were entertained by the banter of former internationals, Brandes and Rackemann.
Both have close ties to Zimbabwe Cricket.
Brandes, who was known as “Chicken Farmer” at his peak, played in 10 Tests and 59 ODIs for Zimbabwe, between 1987 to 1999.
Rackemann was one of Australia’s top bowlers between 1979 and 1996 and he coached Zimbabwe in 2000.
The lunch also heard from multicultural ambassador and Brisbane Roar goalkeeper, Jamie Young.
Grassroots Cricket is involved in raising funds, and collecting new and second hand cricket gear, for distribution to Africa.
Karasa told the audience Grassroots Cricket’s broader vision includes the setting up of a multi-purpose sports centre, which can provide a learning experience for local children. where they do their homework and also get involved in sport.
Grassroots Cricket are planning Cricket-4-Hope cricket coaching clinics, ahead of Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe, in July.
The clinics will be held in Hatcliffe, Harare and Bulawayo.
The programme will involve Zimbabwe national cricket team captain and Grassroots Cricket Zimbabwe president, Sean Williams, and all-rounder Ryan Burl, who is also the Grassroots Cricket ambassador.
The clinics will also involve Elton Chigumbura’s newly-established cricket academy.
Grassroots Australia president, Adrian Oosthuizen, invited well-wishers to join their initiatives and help use the sport to change the lives of disadvantaged children.
“Covid-19 has disrupted our plans in South Africa and Zimbabwe,” he said.
“But we are keen to hit the ground running, when restrictions are lifted, and implement some exciting projects.”