Mid-January; cold, bleak, dark, stuffed by the Aussies in the Ashes, Ben Stokes charged with Affray, any positive cricket news seems a long way off.
But wait, supping my cup of Taylors Yorkshire Tea this morning fresh from my Flavia Creation 500 hot drinks machine, I can bring a positive cricket story to you good enough to brighten the darkest day and nice enough to warm your inner soul!
It may be one of Africa’s smallest countries, tucked away in the centre of the continent but Rwanda is a significant supplier of tea leaves used in Taylor’s of Harrogate’s range of Yorkshire teas. In fact, 10% of the total tea production from Rwanda is purchased by Taylors annually. As is often the case such significant trading relationships build contacts and support beyond the commercial agreements between parties.
Taylors Yorkshire Tea is well known for its interest in Cricket through England sponsorship with the ECB and has now made a really significant contribution towards cricket development in Rwanda. Late last year the Rwandan Cricket Stadium opened thanks to the support from Taylors, giving the country an international standard cricket facility for the first time.
Rwanda has had a difficult and trouble recent past with the awful genocide of 1994 still fresh in the memory of many. There is a real commitment to look to use cricket as a means of bringing all parts of the Rwandan community together fostering friendship and I guess that English sense of fair play!
Now most countries around the world either playing or having an interest in Cricket will have close British links through either the ‘Days of Empire’ or more recently the Commonwealth. Rwanda is a little different with its Colonial past linked to either Germany or Belgium, but it was the large number of people as Rwandan refugees in the 1990’s fleeing to safety in Kenya where cricket is very popular that carried the sport “home” as they eventually returned as the internal conflict subsided.
So well done Yorkshire Tea for bringing hope and sportsmanship to Rwanda, who may in a few years’ time be joining their Kenyan neighbours, plus Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia as a greater African presence on the Cricket world stage.
Written by: Colin from KSV.