Fungayi Munyoro Sports Correspondent
FORMER Zimbabwe cricket team seam bowler Gary Brent was in Mutare on Tuesday for a training session with junior players and coaches at Mutare Sports Club.
A total of 35 participants were in attendance.
The Howzat Cricket Academy boss said Mutare Sports Club facilities need renovation.
“There is much development in Mutare. As I was conducting my trainings, I discovered a lot of good youngsters. Amongst them, good leg spinners. However a lot needs to be done in terms of facility renovations. The facilities need refurbishment. It is high time cooperate world chip in and help to upgrade the facilities,” he said.
Apart from the facilities that are not in good shape, Brent was impressed by the turn out.
“I was impressed by the turn out. I was very happy to be back in Mutare. It is always nice to come back and give back to a community that you have served. I played my first class cricket here in Mutare before coaching Mountaineers for a while and I love Mutare.
“We did coach education in the morning where we trained the coaches. We hardly have these coach education sessions. In the afternoon we did coaching again but this time with the kids and coaches so that they may have more practical approach to coaching.
“We donated some kits to individuals who came. The donations include bats, gloves, helmets, cricket bags and balls. Our next stop is Kwekwe Sports Club. A lot has happened in Harare and Bulawayo and I felt that Mutare and Kwekwe were left out. I played my first class cricket here in Mutare before coaching Mountaineers for a while and I love Mutare,” said Brent.
Brent coached Mountaineers from 2011 to 2014. He is a holder of ECB level 3, Level 2 Fitness Instructor certificate, ECB level 2, Sports Development certificate and Strength and Conditioning certificate.
Howzat Cricket Academy was set by Gary together with former Zimbabwe’s fitness and fielding coach Sean Bell in 2015. Both have Level Three coaching certificates from the ECB, and are probably the only Zimbabweans in the country with such a qualification.
Mutare Sports Club was left out in the refurbishment conducted by the Zimbabwe Cricket. ZC only refurbished Athletic Club, Kwekwe, Harare, Queens and Bulawayo Sports Clubs as part of the preparations to host the world cup qualifiers.
The facilities that need attention include media facility, changing rooms, the scoreboards, nets and spectator facilities. The buildings need to be painted.
Manicaland cricket secretary Joel Mzeya said he was grateful to Brent’s visit.
“As Manicaland cricket board, we are delighted to host Howzat Academy coach. His visit is without any doubt an important milestone for us that will help shape the future of the game in the province.
“We do have plans for development but we still have to sit down and map the way forward. Our school setup is vibrant. We have 20 primary schools that are playing cricket. We have a league running for the schools and we hope to take the game to each and every corner of the province,” said Mzeya.