Two cricket players from Malawi—Gracian Ntambalika and Mary Mahuka—will undergo a three-month high performance training in Australia from January next year.
Cricket Union of Malawi president Vivek Ganesan said the two players’ trip is part of the Cricket Academy and Australia’s Perth Cricket Academy partnership.
He said: “Throughout this year we have built a number of partnerships and one of them with Australia’s Perth Cricket Academy. Last month they sent one of their highly qualified coaches [Stephan Vink] to look at our programmes and our structures. He conducted some clinics and high performance camp. Part of the partnership is two scholarships for two best players—one male and one female.
The two were picked following their impressive performance at the academy, according to Ganesan.
“Gracian [Ntambalika] has been part of the development programme for five years. He is the captain of the Cricket Academy team and Malawi national team. Mary [Mahuka] is a vice-captain of the women’s Cricket Academy team and she has also been part of the development programme,” he said.
Ganesan thanked TNM for their K24 million four-year sponsorship which he said has unearthed indigenous talent.
“We have identified a lot of young players through the academy’s development programme,” he said.
Apart from the academy, the TNM sponsorship is also used for National T20 Cricket Championships.
“The academy has been very productive. The number of teams [National T20 Cricket Championships] has increased. When we started this tournament three years ago, we had 10 teams. This year 32 team participated—16 from Blantyre, 16 from Lilongwe. Next year teams from Mzuzu will also participate. Without TNM’s support, we could not have been here,” said Ganesan.
This year, Lilongwe-based Sana Cricket Club defended the National T20 Cricket Championships after beating Mpingwe Sports Club Blue by 46 runs.
Sana captain Fahad Mahmood said they deserved to retain the title because they prepared well for the final played at Mpingwe Sports Club on Sunday.
TNM chief officer (enterprise services) Vishwajeet Deshmukh said they were impressed with the fruits of the mobile company’s sponsorship.