It is quite scary; they have surrounded Kiev: Ukraine Cricket Federation CEO

With the Russian troops assumed to be moving closer to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, following the frightening invasion on Thursday, Kobus Olivier, a South African serving as the CEO of the Ukraine Cricket Federation, admitted that the situation in the city has been very frightening.

Apart from being the CEO, Olivier also has International Relations, Senior & Junior High Performance, Junior & Women’s Pathway under himself as per the official website of the federation.

“It is quite scary. They have surrounded Kiev. Some of my South African mates in our WhatsApp group say soldiers have gone past their apartments. They don’t know if it’s Ukrainians or Russians,” said Olivier to KFM Mornings on Friday, a radio station in South Africa.

Olivier said the airport at Kiev, which was targeted on Thursday, had been evacuated.

“I was walking my dog at 5 am this morning and I just heard a huge explosion. It sounded like it was right next to me, and I gathered from what I heard later on that they took out strategic targets here with missiles. They have evacuated everyone (from the airport) there is no staff (left) or anything. But I heard that they shot missiles at three airports here.”

Olivier played 16 years of professional cricket in the United Kingdom and served as CEO of Kenya Cricket. He was also the head coach of National Youth Cricket Teams for the Netherlands and was Director of Cricket at the University of Cape Town.

Olivier, a Level 3 coach, has also worked in establishing two cricket academies in Dubai, including being Director of Cricket at the Gen-Next Cricket Academy in partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin and Gen-Next cricket academy in Chennai.

After his stint in Dubai, Olivier took up an opportunity as an English teacher at a private school in Kyiv around 2018 while working with Ukraine Cricket Federation. Olivier remarked that there was huge traffic on the roads at Kyiv as people were trying to leave the city.

“No one here, wants to go back to the (Soviet Union) kind of life. Kiev is a good city and the people here live a good life and they are incredibly proud to be Ukrainians. It’s only around the Crimea area where there is a lot of pro-Russians there. But in the rest of Ukraine, especially in Kiev, they speak Russ’an but they don’t like Russia,” concluded Olivier.


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