The long-awaited Rwf950.2 million state-of-the-art international cricket stadium being constructed in Gahanga Sector, Kicukiro District will be inaugurated in October this year, according to officials.
The construction of Rwanda’s first ever cricket stadium started in April 2015 after the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) received a lease certificate for a 4.5 hectare plot in Gahanga.
“Our plan has been to open the ground by October this year and so we shall do it,” the RCSF General Manager, Eric Dusingizimana told Times Sport.
He said that things have moved faster than they had initially projected. Prior to the launch, RCA plans to organize a one-week tournament in the new stadium. The tourney is expected to attract local and regional clubs as well as six from the United Kingdom that have already confirmed their participation.
According to Dusingizimana, leveling of the ground is now complete as well as the installation of underground water pipes and the planting of grass, which was imported from South Africa.
Dusingizimana, who is also the national team captain noted that, “Upon completion, the stadium will attract international tournaments in addition to the many modern training facilities, which will further boost the development of the sport in the country and region at large.”
The stadium comprises a luxurious bar, offices and changing rooms, among other facilities.
Cricket in Rwanda is growing at a rapid speed across the country, but the facilities to serve cricketers in the various categories have been a serious challenge. For the last 15 years, over 10,000 Rwandans of all ages have been introduced to the ‘gentleman’s game.’
In August last year, Dusingizimana participated in the Lords Dinner in the UK, organized, in part, as a fundraiser for the project, from which £120,000 (about Rwf140 million) was raised.
The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Trust signed a partnership with Surrey (one of the eighteen first-class country clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales) to become the club’s overseas charity partner. Surrey has been on the forefront in fundraising for the stadium construction.
The stadium construction works are being overseen by the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, an NGO that is registered in Rwanda and the UK, and has patrons that include former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and West Indies cricket great, Brian Lara.