CONSTRUCTION of the state-of-the-art cricket venue in Dar es Salaam and promotion of the game countrywide are among priorities highlighted by aspirants of the top posts at the Tanzania Cricket Association (TCA) election.
TCA will hold the Annual General Assembly, which will culminate with the General Election at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.
Going to the polls, Premji Pindoria, who is eying the Chairman post and Shaheed Dhanani, who is contesting for the Vice-Chairman position have highlighted their priorities if elected on Sunday, saying cricket growth in the country needs better on and off field facilities.
"We need to create better facilities for players and spectators to keep cricket alive in the country and we are glad that the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Harrison Mwakyembe has promised to offer a piece of land to the TCA, which is adjacent to the National Stadium for the construction of a modern cricket stadium," said Pindoria.
"If elected on Sunday, we will go right into the business and start with this stadium project... it will be the biggest in East Africa and we hope the new venue will attract teams from around the continent and world at large to come and play in Tanzania," Pindoria added.
"What we need to also do is to create better facilities for the spectators to come and view the game. There should also be frequent competitions bringing together clubs from all over the country," he added.
He said construction of the new venue is among his long term plans, while the short term plans include introducing night cricket, which will allow the games to be played every day because at the moment, most matches are played during weekends.
Pindoria further said if elected, his leadership will commit to improve the standard and qualities of the available venues across the country by installing floodlights to enable them to host night matches.
He said spreading the game to all regions in the country will also be the priority, saying at the moment, cricket is only played in five regions-Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, Tanga and Morogoro and in this aspect, he insisted that grassroots projects will be maintained and further improved.
We will also hire top quality national team coach and he will also train talented national team players to become local coaches. On his side, Dhanani said TCA needs to take up cricket development at grassroots level for the game to reclaim its lost glory.
He said if elected, he will work closely with the rest of the leaders and make sure the associate organise regular training to school teachers for them to pass the knowledge and cricket techniques to pupils in selected primary schools in the country.
"It is evident that cricket has not effectively reached schools, it is not and it has never been among the games in either Inter-Primary School Games (Umitashumta) or Inter-Secondary School games, this must change. It is in schools where most youth are found, hence anything that involves them should involve schools," he said.
He said cricket, like other sports that exhort young athletes to become good players as well as good human beings, needs a serious revival that demands everyone's efforts, not TCA alone.