[By Bright Tembo]
IN a bid to develop the sport at grassroots level, Alpha Cricket Academy director Ishmael Mbatata and sports administrator Madaliso Mvula have come up with community tournaments.
Mbatata told The Mast yesterday that they have taken responsibility to ensure that the sport does not die.
“Madaliso Mvula together with other Alpha Academy coaches have decided to take full responsibility to ensure that the game of cricket should not die at grassroots level by introducing the Zambia Junior Premier League,” he said.
“The Zambia Junior Premier League will see youngsters from Makeni, Kanyama, Chawama, Scimatar Farm and also Alpha Academy players who are from various schools in Lusaka participating in the three months junior league. Our goal as Alpha Cricket Academy is to create opportunities for youngsters who are below the age of 16 years to compete at higher levels. Our main focus as Alpha Cricket Academy is to nurse young talented boys, to prepare them for the future. We have lots of talented boys and girls in Zambia but they are lacking opportunities to play at high level. The only level we have decided to create for now is Zambia Junior Premier League which will be opened to all kids from various compounds.”
Mbatata adds that several boys from the community have already been engaged.
“Madaliso Mvula who is one of the academy coaches has been working on assembling young boys from various compounds. Our aim is to ensure that we continue building the game using this first-ever Zambia Junior Premier League. We will mix boys who are privileged and those from underprivileged families during the three months league. I certainly believe by the end of three months we would have achieved something big,” said Mbatata.
“In June we have a plan to include youngsters from outside Lusaka in this programme. After hosting successful six international junior cricket events, we have decided to go all out so that we develop the game nationwide.”