Descent Dube, Sports Reporter
THE Heath Streak International Cricket Trust will host its flagship tournament, the President’s Under-14 Afro-Asia Cricket Cup, in honour of its patron President Emmerson Mnangagwa from August 4-8 in Harare.
Heath Streak International Cricket Trust chief executive officer and partner Joseph Rego said the tournament kicks off on August 4 at Sunrise Sports Club before shifting to Old Hararians on August 6, 7 and 8.
“India is the first Asian nation to participate in the biggest youth cricket extravaganza. Other participating African nations are South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia and hosts Zimbabwe. The popularity of this brand is growing immensely and the President’s Afro-Asia Cricket Cup is destined to turn into an Under-14 Cricket World Cup,” said Rego.
“This is a great honor to the sport and the presence of His Excellency is going to boost the morale of the cricket loving youths of our nation,” said Rego after getting the President’s consent for the tournament following a meeting recently.
Former senior national team skipper and coach Heath Streak said the youth brand is expected to grow rapidly with the President’s support and become an iconic brand in southern Africa.
“This tournament featuring local and Asian players will unearth new and future talent to grace both international teams and T20 tournaments around the world,” said Streak.
“Zimbabwe has a wealth of talent and for a small country we punch way above our weight. I look forward to the stars of the future being showcased.”
The Under-14 T20 tournament Old Mutual Heath Streak Africa Cricket Cup held in Bulawayo twice a year will continue as a biennial tournament featuring various African nations.
Zimbabwe defeated South Africa in a nail-biting final in 2015, and in 2017 won the final against Botswana convincingly.
Rego said the Under-14 Afro-Asia Cricket Cup has been growing and is destined to find a berth on the global cricketing map, showcasing Zimbabwe as a world class sports and tourist destination.
He said distinguished talented cricketers will receive the “Emmerson Mnangagwa Cricket Scholarships” which will be launched by Streak and Rego to promote the growth and development of the game in Zimbabwe by offering young talented cricketers the opportunity to showcase their talent and represent the country one day at international level.
Rego also revealed that the Heath Streak International Trust plans to construct an Emmerson Mnangagwa International Sports City in Harare which will be a multi- discipline facility with emphasis on cricket.
“The Sports Ministry and Harare City Council are in the process of identifying land and work will commence as soon as we obtain the land. The Emmerson Mnangagwa International Sports City will be home to sports loving youths, offering youngsters the opportunity to display their specific sporting talent, reach their full potential and represent the country one day at international level with pride,” Rego said.
The first phase will construct an international level cricket facility for budding and talented cricketers, providing cricket playing schools in Zimbabwe an opportunity to play cricket in an atmosphere unparalleled to any other cricket facility in the country.
“Streak and I, during our recent visit to India for the Indian Premier League (IPL) approached investors from Asia. Support from Zimbabwean corporate conglomerates and financial institutions have been overwhelming,” said Rego.