Sports minister Emmanuel Mulenga said when he launched the Zambia Cricket League which is set to host its first-ever US$150, 000 BetBarter-sponsored tournament that sport, including cricket, could be a tool for positive youth development if used appropriately.
Mr Mulenga said his ministry was open to collaboration that would help to advance youth development.
He said the tournament which would run from July 4-5 at Lotus Sports Club grounds in Kamwala, Lusaka would be the first of its kind in Zambia, and a dream come true to most Zambian Cricketers who desired to play at the highest level.
Mr Mulenga said the launch of professional cricket league in Zambia would contribute to the attainment of the ministry’s vision of attaining at least 80 per cent of citizens participating in a sport of their choice by 2030.
The minister, however, concerned that the association had not yet covered all the 10 provinces of Zambia and urged it to roll out to the rest of the provinces so that no one was left behind.
“Let me therefore, implore the association to ensure that, in line with the Seventh National Development Plan and the National Sports Policy, no one should be left behind in the development of cricket. With this said, I expect you to spread and increase your presence in the 10 provinces of the country,” he said.
Mr Mulenga said he was aware that Zambia had a lot of talented Cricketers that would have played international cricket if a proper platform existed.
He also said sports activities in the category of low contact and medium contact such as cricket may resume their activities provided they follow the guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
And ZPCZ president Kushal Jain said the world was expanding and now was the time to create the platform for the association to showcase its cricket talent.
Jain also said since the whole world was fighting the COVID- 19 pandemic, it was time for the association to show talent to the world when not lots of sporting events were taking place.
He said the association would abide by the measures given by the Ministry of Health of maintaining social distancing off the field and that the event will not have spectators on the ground.
The association president thanked the government for embracing the sports of cricket.
Jain also thanked BetBarter, the association title sponsor for the whole season, saying their support had made it possible for the association to be launched.
Four teams representing four major Zambian towns are expected to take part in this tournament that would be broadcast live in 12 to 14 cricket loving countries around the world.
Those expected to participate in the tournament include Lusaka Heats, Kabwe Stars, Kitwe Kings and Ndola Blitz.