THE Zambia Cricket Union (ZCU) yesterday launched the game of cricket in the North Western Province with the aim of developing and popularizing the sport in the area.
ZCU president Reuben Chama said the launch is a pilot project for the union to take the sport to the countryside and promote it from the grassroots.
Chama said this when he officiated at the Introductory to Cricket coaching course held at Mushitala Basic School in Solwezi that the union was obliged to roll out its developmental programmes to all parts of Zambia.
He said the idea to introduce cricket to other areas away from the line of rail was in line with the International Cricket Council (ICC) directive of taking the sport to all fringe areas since its introduction in the early 1900's.
Chama said the programme would be introduced to other parts of Zambia where potential sponsors and human resource officers will ensure that the programmes get sustained.
"The game has been played along the line of rail since its introduction in Zambia but we now want to spread the game of cricket to other parts of the country and at the same time, develop and popularize the sport," he said.
He said the ZCU picked on North Western Province because of the mining activities taking place in the town which he said had the potential to attract sponsors and that the union was also looking for other stakeholders to come on board and help sustain the newly introduced sport in the province.
"We thought of bringing the game to the North Western Province because of the mining activities taking place in the area.
We are hopeful that the mines would come on board and help us support the growth of the sport," he said.
Chama said the introduction of the sport would greatly benefit the youths whom the union was targeting to start imparting knowledge as they were the future players and that by having the youths take part in cricket would help keep them away from bad vices and promote good health.
The ZUC chief appealed to the people of the Province to embrace the project as it would help towards contributing to sports development and would create employment for the players who would be employed
The coaching course has attracted 15 participants drawn from seven schools that included Kambela Basic School, Kimole, Kikombe, Malole Solwezi technical secondary, Ringbell and Mushitala Basic School.