Dubai [UAE]: Former South Africa cricketer Gary Kirsten is using the game to change the lives of kids. Kirsten’s goal now is to establish a “cricket excellence programme.”
Away from the international platform, the 51-year-old first arrived in Khayelitsha, a small town in South Africa, six-seven years ago. Kirsten got in touch with the principal of one of the schools, and found out there was no sports facility available for the kids, ICC Cricket 360 reported.
From having “no appetite for the game,” the town is now attracting hundreds of kids to participate every week.
“There used to be no appetite for the game here, and five years later, we have got 450 kids playing cricket every week. There is a lot of talent in young cricketers here, and every year, two or three of them are getting scholarships to get to the elite schools in Cape Town,” Kirsten said.
“So that is a great opportunity for them, but I think for me, I had love to create a cricket excellence programme here, at one of the schools which could be recognised as one of the top-end cricket schools in the country,” he said.
Kirsten featured in 101 Tests and 185 one-day internationals for South Africa, scoring 14,087 runs. Following his retirement, he took up coaching role and went on to guide India to its World Cup title in 2011.