Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
NATIONAL University of Science and Technology cricket coach Bryan Tsongora says Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) needs to set up a system that grooms talent and ensure that it filters from secondary school to tertiary level so that the country does not lose talent.
Tsongora’s team won gold at the recently held Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association (Zusa) Games.
“Our talent is lost because there is no system that grooms players from high school to varsity and even club cricket. We need such a system to retain talent. Varsities should work on providing more student athletes sponsorships so that cricketers are encouraged to improve academically to meet the qualification requirements,” said Tsongora.
He said setting up a vibrant university cricket league is pivotal in improving the standards of the game. “Establishment of a varsity cricket league like in India and South Africa is key.
That way more cricketers are involved and talent is retained. Supporting high school cricket will also improve varsity cricket as talent is carried over. The challenge we face mostly is getting all players to training sessions as they sometimes clash with lectures.
“However, alternative training sessions are then made to compensate for lost time. During vacation, having a full squad is difficult as students will be with families.
There is therefore a need for a varsity cricket league to bridge the gap,” he said.Tsongora believes universities are loaded with talent and if properly nurtured, it can take Zimbabwe cricket to very competitive levels.
“In the past few years competition has become stiffer as talent is slowly filtering in from high schools. Statistics have it that student athletes fare better in sports hence the need to capture varsity talent and make it professional.”
The Nust cricket side is set to represent Zimbabwe in the World Universities Games whose date and venue are yet to be confirmed.
Tsongora said they had already begun preparations for the competition and are appealing to well-wishers to assist with financial resources ahead of the games. – @innocentskizoe