A TEAM of cricketing stars, including celebrated former West Indian international Brian Lara, will take part in a charity cricket match on September 14 aimed at helping raise funds for the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF).
Lara, one of the greatest batsmen the game has ever seen, will captain a select XI which includes Ashes winning former England captain Andrew Strauss, former England wicket keeper Paul Nixon, and former England women’s captain and now head of women’s cricket at the ECB, Clare Connor.
They will play against Brian’s old Warwickshire teammates from the 1990s, including Ashley Giles and Gladstone Small, with whom he won three out of four domestic trophies and shared a number of records, including the highest ever first class score of 501 in 1994.
Lara, who is the RCSF patron, said: “I’ve seen the enthusiasm for the game in Rwanda, and there is plenty of natural talent. It’s vital that we support the Rwandan Cricket Association in harnessing that talent as we believe sport can help build the incredible progress the country has made in the last twenty years.”
The match will take place at Wormsley Cricket Ground, one of the most beautiful grounds in the country, with all proceeds going towards making our vision of a new home for Rwandan cricket a reality, he added.
They will play a one-day 30 over a side match, and the event will raise funds for the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, a charity dedicated to the construction of the first international cricket stadium in Kigali.
“The stadium will create a lasting legacy for the game in this wonderful country,” Lara added.
Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) chief Charles Haba said recently: “Rwandan cricket has come a long way since its initiation in 1999. Plenty of milestones have been reached in spite of major infrastructural challenges.”
“Thanks to the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, the planned national stadium will serve as a springboard for one of the fastest growing team sport in Rwanda to reach a playing audience we could only have dreamed of,” he added.
The stadium is expected to attract touring teams to the country. A stadium could also be the first step toward Rwanda hosting future ICC tournaments, which will help generate funds, raise the profile of the game in the country, and encourage tourism.
With support from patrons including British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron, Andrew Mitchell MP, Lord Chadlington, Jonathan Agnew and England women’s cricketer Heather Knight, the charity is over half way to reaching their target of £600,000.
It is hoped that the planned all-star game will bring the charity closer to its target.