Khayelitsha’s budding cricketers from the Gary Kirsten Foundation are set to enjoy the ICC World Cup in the UK. Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – Young Khayelitsha cricketers will have the opportunity to watch their heroes in action when they jet off to the UK for the Cricket World Cup next month.

The players from the Gary Kirsten Foundation (GKF), administrators and coaches are set for an all-expenses-paid trip to Britain, which will include attending three Protea games - against Afghanistan in Cardiff, New Zealand in Birmingham and Pakistan at the home of cricket, Lord's.

The ICC World Cup is set to run from May 30 until July 14. The tour is set to bring a great deal of happiness and much-needed experience for the GKF cricketers as it will be their first time travelling outside of the Western Cape, and their first on a plane.

Their tour will be filled with activities, giving the young cricketers an opportunity to play against top UK schools and meet their Proteas heroes.

GKF founder and former Proteas coach Gary Kirsten said: “It is a really exciting opportunity. There is going to be a big buzz in the UK during the World Cup and it will be great for the kids to soak it all up. 

"I believe an international trip of this magnitude will also show youngsters what is possible in life and sport. We want to create the opportunity of a lifetime for kids who love and play the sport with so much passion.”

Established in 2014, the foundation develops resources and opportunities for cricket in rural communities and focuses on providing free coaching to hundreds of youngsters, building much-needed infrastructure as well as upskilling coaches.

It has supplied five Khayelitsha schools with newly constructed artificial cricket nets, complete kit bags and a full-time cricket coach, under the guidance of Gary Kirsten Cricket.

Kirsten will accompany a full squad of under-13 players from the foundation and three coaches on the trip.

“In turn, I want to share the story of the GK Foundation to the international cricketing community, on a platform that could potentially reach millions across the world,” he said.

The foundation has urged anyone wishing to donate towards the crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy to visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/GKFWorldCupTour or visit www.garykirstenfoundation.org.za

Cape Times