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HomenewsHow Oman’s cricket team wove a tapestry of inspiration in Bulawayo

How Oman’s cricket team wove a tapestry of inspiration in Bulawayo

The Chronicle

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Brandon Moyo, [email protected]

IN the annals of European history, the name Pericles, a revered Greek politician and general from the Golden Age of Athens, shines brightly as the “first citizen of Athens.” Centuries have passed since his time, yet Pericles’ name remains etched in the hearts of many. His words still resonate with timeless wisdom: “what you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

This notion of a lasting legacy found unexpected resonance during the 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. For three thrilling weeks, nine countries descended upon the nation, vying passionately for the coveted qualification spots. As Zimbabwe stood proudly as the tenth team in the tournament, Harare and Bulawayo played host to a hive of activity and excitement.

The common aspiration of all ten nations was clear – to secure their place in the upcoming 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup. When the tournament concluded, only two teams could emerge victorious, leaving others with bittersweet memories. Such is the unpredictable nature of sports.

Amidst the thrill of competition, a heartwarming tale of camaraderie and goodwill unfolded in the City of Kings and Queens, Bulawayo. The Oman cricket team, though they didn’t clinch the trophy, accomplished something far greater – they won the hearts of Bulawayo’s budding cricket enthusiasts.

During their stay, the teams were graciously assisted by local net bowlers during practice sessions. Among the visiting teams, Oman stood out for their generosity and genuine connection with the local cricketing community. Grateful for the warm hospitality and the invaluable support they received during their practice sessions, the Omanis felt compelled to leave a meaningful mark on the city they called home for a while.

In an act of kindness that would resonate deeply with the young cricket talents of Bulawayo, Oman cricket team donated a treasure trove of equipment. It was not just about giving away cricket gear; it was about empowering the next generation of players and coaches in a place where resources were often scarce.

Kennedy Chanetsa, one of the local coaches, expressed heartfelt gratitude for the donation, stressing the significance of such acts in the development of young players. The donation, which included bats, keeping pads, batting pads, gloves, jerseys, track-bottoms, shorts, thigh pads, and boots, was shared among four dedicated local coaches who have been nurturing young talents in the city.

“We are grateful to Oman Cricket for the donation they left to us here in Bulawayo. As coaches, sometimes we struggle to get coaching equipment and this will go a long way in developing players,” said Chanetsa.

The gesture from Oman went beyond merely donating equipment; it sowed the seeds of inspiration, instilling a renewed sense of determination and love for the game in the hearts of Bulawayo’s aspiring cricketers. Jatinder Singh, Shoaib Khan, and Sandeep Goud, among the Oman players, contributed their own bats, adding a personal touch to the thoughtful gift.

“We are grateful on behalf of the players as they also struggled to get equipment. This will be a motivation boost to them and will have the zeal to continue playing the game. It was a way of saying thank you to Bulawayo and we will forever be grateful to the Oman cricket team,” said Chanetsa.

The equipment was shared among four local coaches who have been working with youngsters in the city. Including Chanetsa, the other three are Nyasha Ranga, Kudzai Banda and Tyson Meki.

Despite engraving their names in stone after reaching the Super Six stage of the World Cup Qualifiers as underdogs, the Oman Cricket team surely left something woven in the lives of the next cricket stars from Bulawayo with their generous donation.

In years to come, their generous donation will always be remembered. @brandon_malvin

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