A BARNSLEY cricket club with a Zimbabwean connection has returned from a visit to the country which saw them donate equipment to a local school.

Members of Rockingham Colliery Cricket Club made the near 13,000km trip from the ground on Sheffield Road to Chitungwiza, in the north-east of the African country near its capital city Harare.

While there, they visited St Aidan’s Primary School with bags full of kit, including outdoor nets, and played cricket with the youngsters.

Member David Hudson said the club had travelled to see former players Stuart Matsikenyere - a former international who now coaches with the Zimbabwean national side - and Tony Munyonga.

“Three years ago we had an overseas player come in as another player, Robin Singh, couldn’t make it,” said David. “We contacted an agency, who told us Zimbabwe’s under-19s were based in Lancashire that summer.

“That’s how we found Stuart, and he ended up playing half a season for us and scored 800 runs with six centuries.

“We made a lasting friendship with him from then.

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“It was a very humbling experience. The school has more than 3,000 students who work on a two-shift system as they don’t have enough accommodation for them.

“Some of the young lads there were really into the coaching side and were asking us all about it. We got a few high fives on our way out.”