Record-breaking Rwanda captain Dusingizimana meets worldâ€™s cricket greats, Â£120,000 pledged for first cricket stadium
Rwanda national cricket team captain, Eric Dusingizimana ended his week-long trip to London, England on a promising note Â£120,000 worth of charity appeal was pledged to build the first cricket stadium in Rwanda.
Cricket is the fastest growing sport in Rwanda and Dusingizimana has become a celebrity at home after becoming the first Rwandan to hold a Guinness world record when he batted for 51 hours in the nets.
Paul Farbrace, the England assistant coach, arranged for Dusingizimana to join the team at their net session at Trent Bridge as they prepared for the one-day series against Sri Lanka.
It was the culmination of Dusingizimanaâ€™s week-long trip to England that included a fundraising dinner at Lordâ€™s at which around Â£120,000 was pledged to the charity appeal to build the first cricket stadium in Rwanda.
Some US$600,000 has already been mobilised toward the construction of the proposed arena to be located in Gahanga in Kigaliâ€™s Kicukiro District.
â€œI was so excited about this trip, it was my first time to step foot in London, the home of cricket,â€ said Dusingizimana, adding that dining with Cricket greats was yet another milestone achievement in my life.
The current Guinness world record holder for the longest hours (51) batting nonstop and national team skipper will join other cricket greats across the world for the dinner including the current cricket players and ex-internationals such as Brian Lara, former England National cricket team captain David Gower, West Indies Garry Fobers, Micheal Vowghan, and the current England national women Cricket Team captain Heather Knights, among others.
The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Trust has signed a partnership with Surrey to become the county clubâ€™s overseas charity partner. Surrey have donated Â£10,000 and pledged to commit a further Â£40,000 over the next five years.
Work has also now begun on the new ground, with bulldozers last week clearing the site for the start of construction. It is hoped the ground will be open by March 2017.
Rwanda became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2003 â€“ the third tier of the international game â€“ and play in the African Division Two against the likes of Sierra Leone and Mozambique. The womenâ€™s game is thriving and members of the menâ€™s team work as coaches in Kigali schools.
They have to play all their international matches abroad because there are no grass wickets in Rwanda. The one pitch in the country is concrete with a matted covering, and bowlers can only bowl from one end because the bounce is dangerously uneven.