AS most people were busy watching either the Barclays Cup semi-finals or the English Premier League (EPL) matches, I spent the whole day at OlympAfrica in Chipata Township of Lusaka watching cricket.
Yes, cricket and FYI, cricket is one of my favourite games and I do watch a lot of T20 (twenty-twenty). T20 means each side bowling 20 overs and unlike test cricket, a T20 game will normally end within three hours.
So when I heard there was cricket playing at OlympAfrica, I decided it was time to see first-hand what the cricket buzz was all about and found an exciting Uni-cricket (University Cricket) league ending play-off.
Also I wanted to see what was happening to the OlympAfrica Centre as I wrote about the centre when the idea was first mooted by ANOCA (African motherbody for National Olympic Committees).
I also accompanied then ANOCA Secretary General Lamine Ba when he visited Zambia to see the plot and got the Government guaranteed for title deeds which the IOC was demanding.
Well I must mention that the area can still do better but I understand especially that that idea was picked up by the IOC who went a step further and even gave Zambia the privilege of having the first ever and bigger version of the OlympAfrica called the Olympics Youth Development Centre (OYDC).
Let me get back to the cricket and what I saw.
First, I notice there is a lot of excitement about the sport and while the standards are quite some distance off the world class seen on television, there are a few players with great technique in batting and bowling- the two most important skills in the game.
Whereas other players are advanced, there is also a good number of them who need to work harder and will need a lot of pushing to catch up.
Cricket in Zambia has always been dominated by people of Asian origin though lately, there has been in huge increase in the indigenous Zambians playing the game.
While one expects a blend of people of Asian origin and the indigenous Zambians at such a tournament, it was sad to note that no Asian descendant was at the tournament.
This is quite an undesirable situation and hope it is not as deep as feared. But with so many locals playing the game, it about time government and more corporates joined in to take the game to the next level.
From one minor sport to another, I this time take to golf where Zambia just finished fifth at the All-Africa Challenge in Zimbabwe won unsurprisingly by South Africa.
It’s quite sad to see Zambia finish fifth as this tells of a lack of progress in the game and also that there is little aggression to raise the standards of the game.
Coming to mind is that every year, a lot of money is mopped up to host two international tournaments that are part of the Sunshine Tour and little done for local golf improvement.
Understandably, one or two things are being done to help golf but still not enough because what happens is that the young promising players like Gabriel Chibale and Kelvin Chibuye apart from maybe three international competitions per year, get to play big time hackers and this does not help their game.
I fear for Aaron Simfukwe junior who is the leading player right now and all his talent may go down the drain.
And just what is the point of hosting the two Zambia Opens if they do not directly help local golf. So for a game like judo or table tennis, the Zambia Golf Open is like those nuclear tests and South Korea and the USA keep bickering about.
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