The UK Prime Minister is one of the patrons of the RCSF project
BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron has joined the drive to raise USD 400.000 (Rwf 238m) to build a modern cricket facility in Rwanda.
The project, which was launched on Monday in UK, is in memory of Christopher Shale, who died of a heart attack at Glastonbury early this year. Shale, a member of Project Umubano (Conservative Party’s international development social action project), was passionate about the development of the sport in the country.
Cameron said: “I am delighted to support the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation appeal. Sport is a great way to bring a country together and cricket is one of the fastest growing sports in Rwanda, with children from all different backgrounds increasingly enthusiastic to pick up a bat and ball. The RCSF will leave a lasting legacy in Rwanda, and I wish the team every success.”
Cameron and BBC cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew are patrons in the project expected to be completed in 2014.
Charles Haba, the president of the Rwanda Cricket Association says the government through the Ministry of Sports made a commitment to provide land for the project.
“There is a standing commitment by the Sports ministry to provide land for the project. We are not yet sure whether they will provide land, give us money to buy the land or help in expropriation to get land,” explained Haba, adding “the stadium once completed would go a long way in developing the Gentleman’s game in Rwanda.”
The foundation’s Managing Director, Oli Broom says: “The concept of building a lasting home for Rwandan cricket is an extremely exciting one.”
An Affiliate Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 2003, the Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) is the national body responsible for the administration, promotion and development of the game in Rwanda. The body was created in December 2000 and has since grown rapidly.
There is an annual league, three tournaments and a schools’ competition that form a typical cricket calendar. The national team (men) play an African tournament annually, whereas the Under 13s, 15s, 17s, 19s boys and girls teams play a regional tournament every year. The national women’s team also participates in a regional tournament every year.
“Rwandan cricket has come a long way since its conception in 2000. Plenty of milestones have been reached in spite of major infrastructural challenges. Thanks to the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, the planned national stadium will act as a springboard for arguably the fastest growing team sport in Rwanda to reach a playing audience we could only have dreamt of,” Haba added.