More than 60 schoolgirls drawn from around Bulawayo enjoyed an unforgettable afternoon on Sunday as they took part in a coaching clinic conducted by the Zimbabwe senior women’s national team.
The event was organised by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) as part of the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s “100% Cricket” programme that is designed to showcase the skill, athletic brilliance, passion and intensity of women players and bring everything fans love about the sport to life.
The worldwide campaign, launched on the occasion of the International Women’s Day ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup final in Australia on Sunday, aims to bring one-million new women and girls to the game in the next 12 months.
And on its part ZC did not waste time getting the ball rolling, getting dozens of schoolgirls from around the city of Bulawayo for a fun-filled day of cricket with their national team heroines.
It was indeed a hive of activity at Queens Sports Club, venue of the coaching clinic, as the aspiring cricketers, aged between eight and 16, were split into smaller groups to focus on different aspects of the game.
Zimbabwe senior women’s national team players – among them captain Mary-Anne Musonda, Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano, Precious Marange, Tasmeen Granger, Nomvelo Sibanda, Modester Mupachikwa and Christabel Chatonzwa – showed the girls how to grip the ball, position the fingers, rotate the ball and release it, among other techniques.
They also imparted expertise on run-ups and delivery stride stability, while they also took them through some batting drills, teaching the enthusiastic kids how to properly grip the bat and how to hit the ball.
The schoolgirls then participated in a mini “World Cup”, which saw “Rwanda” beating “Kenya” in the final.
The lady cricketers also shared the inspirational cricket stories with the young girls.
Musonda hailed the “100% Cricket” programme which she believes will accelerate the growth of the women’s game.
“Cricket has meant life to me. I fell in love with cricket at a very tender age at some event similar to this one. Ever since then I have committed to playing cricket,” the Zimbabwe women’s captain said.
“It has helped me on and off the field. It has developed my character and given me a future.
“We all aspire to be at the World Cup and I’m glad that we are giving back to the roots. This is where cricket starts from.
“Going forward, we hope that this programme will continue happening as we have already spotted a couple of girls who are very good and could in the next few years make the national team. Also, coming up with a national Under-19 team, we have very strong potential. ‘100% Cricket! #IDeclare!”
ZC will be working on a range of other initiatives focused on growing women’s cricket.