Cricket Stadium to be inaugurated next year

28 November 2016

The construction of the long-awaited Rwf950.2 million state-of-the-art international cricket stadium in Rwanda – at Gahanga in Kigali’s Kicukiro District – will be completed sooner than had initially expected.

The construction of the stadium which, started in June, was expected to end in two years’ time but those behind the project say the first phase of the works, which was expected to take more time than the second and final phase, is already in its final stages.It emerged that works on the first phase of the project are now expected to be completed by March, next year, they said.

“Our plan is to open the ground by October next year,” Eric Dusingizimana, the General Manager of Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, told Times Sport from the site on Friday.He said that things were moving faster than initially projected and they hope to continue with the same pace.

The leveling of the ground is now done as well as the installation of all water pipes, while the planting of the grass imported from South Africa is due this week.The planting of grass wicket was completed last week.

“Upon completion, the stadium will attract many international players and tournaments as well as avail modern training facilities, which will boost the development of the sport in the country and region at large,” Dusingizimana said.

The stadium will have a luxurious bar, offices, changing rooms, and AIDS Awareness unit; that will provide awareness, testing and counseling services as its one of the objectives of Rwanda Cricket Association – to promote awareness on the virus.

The sport is fast growing across Rwanda but the facilities to serve cricketers in the various categories remain a serious challenge.For the last 15 years, over 10,000 Rwandans of all ages have been introduced to cricket.

Some $600,000 has already been mobilised for the construction of the stadium (first phase). That’s about half the estimated total cost of the whole project.

In August, Dusingizimana participated in the Lords Dinner in the UK organised, in part, as a fundraiser for the project, from which £120,000 (about Rwf140 million) was raised.

The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Trust signed a partnership with Surrey (one of eighteen first-class country clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales) to become the club’s overseas charity partner. Surrey have so far donated £10,000 toward the stadium construction.

The stadium construction works are being overseen by the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, an NGO that is registered in Rwanda and the UK, and has patrons that include former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and cricket great Brian Lala.