By Skilder Makona
Domestic cricket is back in full swing following the launch of the National Premier League which gets underway this Sunday.
Cricket enthusiasts are in for a treat as the National Premier League gets underway this weekend across four provinces in Zimbabwe.
With the national team in camp ahead of their tour of Pakistan next month, the launch of the league will ensure players get enough game time before they travel to the South Asian nation.
Speaking at the official launch at Harare Sports Club this Wednesday, Zimbabwe Cricket Board chairperson, Tavengwa Mukuhlani said the National Premier League is the beginning of a new journey which should see talent thriving.
“Gone are the days when players were picked on popularity now fans want a winning team and it’s high time Zimbabwe should constantly post favourable results. The launch of the National Cricket League is the beginning of a new journey where talent should strive.
“Every national team player must have a club as it is now a requirement for national team selection. I will be saddened to see the league going down the same drain as what the franchise cricket did hence proper planning will steer development.”
ZC Director of Cricket, Hamilton Masakadza pointed out that the league is set to expose youngsters to competitive cricket as they will have an opportunity to play alongside experienced players.
“Our aim is to spread the game and give an equal opportunity to all players despite race or age. Our youngsters will have the opportunity to learn new skills each time they mix and mingle with the experienced guys.”
The inaugural National Premier League will see the country’s nine top clubs namely Rainbow, Amakhosi, Queens Sports Club, Great Zimbabwe, Midwest, Takashinga, Kings, Eastern and Gladiators competing in a tournament, whose winners will walk away 10 000 United States dollars richer, while the runners up will get 5 000 United States dollars.
Rainbow vs Gladiators (Harare Sports Club),
Midwest vs Takashinga (Kwekwe Sports Club),
Queens vs Amakhosi (Queens Sports Club),
Great Zimbabwe vs Harare Kings (Masvingo Sports Club).