Cromen Zinyama is currently serving as Secretary General of Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Federation. Cromen started playing cricket quite early at Seke 11 Primary School in the Chitungwiza Suburb. He later played for the provincial sides namely Matebeleland South and Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association/ Mashonaland Eagles and has also played for Uprising Cricket Club, Georgians Sports Club and Royal Cricket Club. By this time, Cromen had enough confidence to form his own Academy and named it Ramah Sports Academy with an objective of providing an equal platform to all the classes of people in the society. He recently joined as Secretary General and has been involved with Cricket administration, nurturing the grass-root cricket, conducting coaching clinics and hosting tournaments. Cromen envisions a positive and healthy growth for Zimbabwe Cricket and is working at his best to fulfill the goals. 

1. Tell us about yourself?Cromen Zinyama - Secretary General of Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Federation

Date of Birth: 02 JUNE 1988
Playing Role: ALL-ROUNDER
Country: ZIMBABWE, Africa

2. What age did you start playing Cricket? How did you get in touch with the game?
I started playing cricket in 1996 in October at the age of 8, my grade 2 teacher, the late Mrs. Maina introduced our class to the game as she was the woman appointed to develop cricket from grassroots level at Seke 11 Primary School in the high density of the Seke, Chitungwiza Suburb.

3. Who were your cricketing heroes whilst growing up?
My heroes were Andy Flower, Heath Streak, Hansie Cronje & Sachin Tendulkar and at one point I was nicknamed Cronje

4. How did you get into Administrative role at Zimbabwe Cricket? Was serving Cricket industry always on your list?
At Zimbabwe Cricket I was never involved with administration, I just served as a player playing for provincial sides that is Matebeleland South in 2006/7, Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association/ Mashonaland Eagles from 2009-2012 and I have been involved in playing club cricket for Northwinds Cricket Club in 2001/2, Uprising Cricket Club in 2003, Old Georgians Sports Club in 2004, Royal Cricket Club from 2005 to current and I have gone up the ladder to be in the administration of the club and Serving the Cricket industry was top priority on my list and that has given me much energy to form a Ramah Sports Academy a grooming pool for targeting all classes in our society (the elite, the privileged and the underprivileged across Zimbabwe providing an equal platform and opportunity)

Cromen Zinyama - Secretary General of Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Federation5. What is most challenging thing about your Role as Founder/Secretary General of Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Federation?
As a founder/secretary general of such a big vision the challenges I face every day are lack of sponsorship and resistance from the corporate world especially in our economy that is trying to rise from its knees, but be that as it may I have committed myself to serve cricket and with my own resources I make things happen the way they should and it calls for my time and my maximum attention as I have to be very innovative to attract funding and new players on board. So basically the major challenge is on funding or sponsorship.

6. Any major blocks by Zimbabwe Cricket currently?
The current Zimbabwe Cricket Board has not blocked our efforts of developing the game, as we are complementing their efforts of reaching out to all talented cricketers across the nation, as a matter of fact they have given Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Trust their blessing and also another approval letter from the Ministry of Sports & Recreation. We believe no man can single handedly attend to the matters of Zimbabwe, that is why we are trying our levels best to compliment and support each other if Zimbabwe is to become a cricket powerhouse in the future

7. Any major challenges that you faced all these years and still wants to improve and work on it.
The major challenge that I faced as a player was lack of proper recreational facilities, and when competitions came we could not match the required standards because of the quality of the practice we had as a people that were coming from disadvantaged backgrounds we had no total access to grass wickets, to bowling machines, to gym and we could not be compared to the players that had all the facilities from elite group A schools, though talented, there will be a missing link and huge difference to some elite players who exercise on quality wickets and that was a major blow to me my former high density suburb team mates, some gave up on cricket because they felt that selection to provincial, national age group sides was not exercised with fairness and that is where the vision of Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Trust came about as we saw the need to give everyone an equal opportunity on a level ground, so we saw the need to re-orient our approach and also extend our offer to the poor and to those who do even know the existence of the game, because in Zimbabwe the game was regarded as a game for the whites, hence to some people in Zimbabwe cricket is still a mystery to be demystified and a taboo to be unveiled, the only cricket known by some people in the remote areas in Zimbabwe is that creature that makes noise by night and we as an academy and trust are here to spread, develop and promote fairness and provide an equal opportunity to all classes by constructing state of the art cricket facilities in all provinces in our country given the opportunity to do so.

8. Where do you and your team see yourself in coming 5 years?
In the coming 5 years I see myself spearheading cricket development and spreading cricket to African nations that need exposure in the game, it is my greatest desire to see Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Federation Africa play cricket the way soccer is played and I intend to mobilize some cricket administrators from non-test cricket playing nations to come on board and we make a powerful African league, for me it is so sad that whenever African cricket is mentioned people internationally only recognize South Africa and Zimbabwe and what about all the other African nations, the only way for them to be known is by playing more international games and selling their products the players on a global scale and I am sure you will be there to assist me attain my vision with your unmatched global cricket network.

In the next 5 years the world will be shocked by a team that shall be emanating from the capital city of the world, Zimbabwe and I believe we are going to produce some of the world’s best players from the pool of players we have started grooming and giving scholarships to study in group A schools to bettern their cricket. We also have an advanced level two Australia accredited coach who is involved with coaching and some other guys from the national team. World brace yourself to welcome champions that will be unmatched is the word of assurance I leave to the global cricket community.

I want to establish our own

1. Zimbabwe Premiere Corporate League
2. Save the Elephant Schools Tournament
3. Cricket for minors (Kinder-Cricket for Crèches)
4. Africa Cricket Cup
5. AfroAsia Cricket Cups
6. AfroEuroAsia Cups
7. Junior World Cups
All these will include willing cricket nations not considering their test cricket status

9. How do you plan to uplift Junior Cricket and what are Junior programmes running throughout Country?
1. Every holiday we do coaching clinics and we are equipping teachers with cricket information so that they impart the culture of cricket to their students, we have started introducing the game of cricket to rural areas across Zimbabwe and so far we have opened a branch in the Lowveld and it called the Lowveld Twenty20 Cricket Trust which is a subsidiary or affiliate of the Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Trust being led by Mr Mark Burbidge. We have embarked on rural areas as we understand that urban areas are engaged by Zim Cricket, so to broaden our pool of players we started a project we are terming the RURAL CRICKET FOUNDATION OR RURAL CRICKETFICATION. 

2. We host tournaments (local & international) so far we have hosted alpha cricket academy from Zambia, Falcons Cricket Academy from India and we have embarked on a player exchange program with the falcons under Mr Hemant Singh, We have sent players to participate in the Indian Premier Corporate League which is an annual league of the Indian Twenty20 Cricket Federation as we are partners along with other affiliated units of the International Twenty20 Cricket Federation, we are also sending our team for the Pradeep Memorial Tournament scheduled for India in 2016 under the Tillo Athletics Association.

3. We are in partnership with Great Cricket Steps Asia, Lahore Badshars School of Sport in the UK and many other academies of international repute.

10. Which do you feel has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? Any achievements or rewards that you cherish the most.
Though long back it brought inspiration when I felt like giving up, a match I played in my primary school when I was in the 7th grade when I took 10 wickets for 6 runs in 4 overs and the opponents were 11 all out and when I opened batting I hit 2 sixes on the first 2 balls of our inning and the match was over (it has given me a lasting impression), and the test match we played against the Manicaland Mountaneers where I bowled 36 overs in both innings for only 17 runs and 4 wickets and I have many best bowlers’ awards in first class cricket, club and schools for taking fivers which I cherish equally as I put all my effort to achieve best results.

11. How important is school cricket in the development of the game? What measures are being taken to promote School Cricket?
Schools cricket is the fundamental of cricket development, it should be the area of focus as it is the stage which determines the strength of a nation, it is a stage which makes or breaks the cricket of any nation as many players will be putting all the effort trying to discover if they should really pursue cricket as a career or any subject they will be involved in. if a nation is to have many cricket supporters they have to first create players at schools level, at this stage qualified coaches have to be deployed as a way of tracing progress of the player.

In Zimbabwe, the ministry of primary and secondary education have come up with a compulsory league which is participated by all government schools which I see as a noble idea, but the only challenge that will make this vision yield nothing is lack of qualified coaches, umpires; that has a negative impact on the development of the game, then there is another league by group A schools, which has great potential to bring hope and life to cricket in Zimbabwe, through that we have seen some private schools touring abroad and some schools touring Zimbabwe which I see as a big tool to the development of the game, praying that it will be exercised in all schools across the nation.

12. What are the areas for improvement you see to be necessary in Zimbabwean cricket?
if Zimbabwe is to attain a top spot in cricket, then we have to be serious at club level, after players leave school their next stop is club cricket and in Zimbabwe club cricket get little attention, many clubs struggle to access resources that is cricket balls, proper cricket facilities and during some games there is only one qualified umpire at one end standing as on umpire for all the 100 overs in a match, that brings down the standard and spirit of the game. I really feel some of the developmental grants should be channeled towards development of some struggling clubs because only a few have their own grounds and most of them use or rent schools with concrete pitches for practice and hire proper grounds for matches, and some do not afford as they do not have sponsors at all.

It is also everyone’s prayer that there be clarity on the selection criteria used.

13. Who would you credit most for your success and why?
I give much credit to my mom and dad as they have supported me through thick and thin and it is my desire that I give back to all they have done for me and of course Sylvester Mutusva my coach and co-founder /president Zimbabwe Twenty20 Cricket Trust as he taught me to be a fighter who does not use his mouth to prove a point, but the bat and the ball, he is more of a parent in or outside cricket, he was there to support me when everyone else was not there, he coached me things that has made me the best player and a good moral and functional citizen.

14. Do you feel India, Pakistan and Bangladesh could do more for cricket in Zimbabwe? If Yes, how?
I strongly feel that the Asian Cricket playing nations can do a lot for our cricket development as they have mastered the art of cricket and development of the game itself. I believe if we can engage in exchange programs with the best then we can automatically blend in to be the best.

In the past few years Bangladesh was Zimbabwe’s piece of cake, but now the tables have turned which means there is something we are not doing that they are doing and learning administration from them will yield positive results. I think if we can bring administrators, coaches, curators, players to learn our game will go high and also have state/provincial/ club teams tour our own, it may be a strong learning edge for us that will bring positive results.

15. One thing that you want us (Global Cricket Community) to do for the Cricket Community and why?
I want GCC to continue with this great work of linking cricketers sharing challenges and experiences, by so doing we will learn a lot and see where are missing the mark, it is also my desire to see the GCC become a powerful network between nations so as to fulfill our dreams as I enshrined on question number 8.

If you become the mediator between people with like visions then development will much easy for us, also to engage willing sponsors to assist our initiatives of course on a win-win basis.

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