RWANDA CRICKET Stadium Foundation (RCSF) Project director Ed Pearson reckons that the modern facility will play a vital role in raising the standards of the sport in the country.
RCSF was created in 2011 to help construct a dedicated cricket stadium in Gahanga Sector, Kicukiro District, Kigali.
The stadium, to be managed on a non-profit basis, is expected to be constructed on a 4.5-hectare piece of land.
Pearson, the national team coach-player, said recently: “The new stadium will raise Rwanda’s cricket status and standards to the level of other countries in the region. We are close to our target and it is very exciting.”
“A total of £490,000 has been raised, and a fortnight ago our partners trekked Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and raised £30,000 to £40,000 for the construction of the stadium. We also have a charity dinner in November in the UK which hopefully will raise more funds,” he noted.
Pearson hailed the Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) for doing a good job in spreading the game to schools and universities across the country. “We need to create a strong base in terms of facilities to develop good players and increase participation; which is why a permanent ground is necessary.”
With an estimated £600,000 required for the construction of the stadium, the patrons are said to be just 1/4 short of reaching their target.
He said once completed, the stadium will provide a place for the national team to train, for school children to be nurtured, and for the members of the public to get hooked onto the sport.
Construction works on the proposed stadium, which will include accommodation facilities, are expected to get underway next month.
It is estimated that there are over 2,000 regular cricketers in Rwanda and while another 3,000 are expected to be playing the game at universities, schools as well as orphanages over the next two years.
Rwanda’s national team plays in the 3rd division of the ICC Africa, and won the championship in 2011, defeating the Seychelles in a playoff.