Zimbabwe Street Children Cricket Team finishes second at World Cup in India
ZIMBABWE’s street children cricket team finished second at the Cricket World Cup in Chennai, India after losing to Uganda in the finals on Saturday.
The Street Child Cricket World Cup is a curtain raiser for the main 50-Over Cricket World Cup and its purpose is to raise awareness for Street Children all over the World, and to demonstrate that they have a meaningful contribution to make to society.
The Zimbabwe team, organized by Grassroots Cricket, a non-profit organization that uses cricket to empower disadvantaged children and youth, played brilliantly throughout the tournament, winning all of their matches in the group stage and semifinals. This included a major victory against England.
In the finals, they fell to a strong Ugandan team, but their performance was still a remarkable achievement.
Grassroots Cricket founder Tawanda Karasa said the stellar performance by the team has shown the world that street children are just as talented and capable as anyone else.
“We are so proud of our team for their incredible performance at the Street Child Cricket World Cup. They have shown that anything is possible if you have the determination and courage to chase your dreams,” he said.
The Zimbabwe team is made up of children who have come from difficult backgrounds, many of whom have experienced poverty, homelessness, and abuse. Cricket has given them a second chance at life, and they have used the opportunity to excel both on and off the field.
The Zimbabwean team was led by captain Petros Sithole, who was a brilliant all-rounder. He was ably supported by Rutendo Pedzisai Mandawe, Buhlebenkosi Maposa, Felicity Bongiwe Mpofu, Amy Ropafadzo, Wealth Takwana, Munyaradzi Masumbukera and Sureshbhai Bharatbhai Patel.
“I want to thank our partners, including Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, for supporting us. I also want to thank other teams, volunteers and coaches who made the Cricket World Cup a success. We would also like to congratulate the Ugandan team on their victory,” said Karasa.
The second edition of the Street Child Cricket World Cup 2023 featured 23 teams from 17 countries in total to take part in a mixed-gender cricket tournament. The teams played the game in the Street-20 format, designed to remove many of the barriers to participation. The tournament included a variety of countries, including three from Africa – Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda – and Nepal, England and Mexico.
Each match was six-a-side, with equal numbers of girls and boys on each team.
In addition to cricket, the young people also participated in a festival of art and a child-friendly Congress, all designed to advocate for the rights of street-connected children globally.