Mutare Sports Club To Host NPL
CRICKET fanatics will be in for a treat tomorrow (Sunday) as Mutare Sports Club hosts a league match between Great Zimbabwe and Harare Kings in a newly formed National Premier League (NPL).
By Fungayi Munyoro
Zimbabwe Cricket unveiled the NPL on Wednesday in Harare.
A total of nine teams will be taking part in the NPL-Amakhosi, Queens ( both from Bulawayo) Takashinga, Rainbow, Harare Kings, Gladiators( all from Harare), Great Zimbabwe (Masvingo), Midwest(Midlands) and Easterns (Mutare).
Four matches are lines up tomorrow in the 45-over tournament.
Midwest will host Takashinga at Kwekwe Sports Club while Rainbow will clash with Gladiators in a local derby at Harare Sports Club. Another derby will be played at Queens Sports Club between Queens and Amakhosi.
Mutare’s representatives, Easterns will be away at Takashinga on Wednesday before hosting Harare Kings on October 11.
Manicaland Cricket Board Administrator Terry Nyakuriwa said they are looking forward to the competition.
“The competition will strengthen club cricket. We will see a rise in the level of competitiveness at First Class. We are looking forward to this competition as it will equip our club cricketers with more game time and motivate them to aspire to play first-class cricket, ” he said.
Cricket pundits in the eastern border town of Mutare are happy about the initiative. Diamond FM sportscaster Tafadzwa ‘Mr Tich’ Tichawangana said it is better than the franchise system.
“It is better than the franchise system as there are more games to be played, more players involved and more opportunities,” he said.
Taurai Matumba said he hopes to see a competitive league.
“It is a welcome development. We hope to have a competitive league if the unveiling is mirrored on the field of play,” he said.
Blast Academy coach Eddy Samunyai said he is looking forward to seeing young cricketers from Mutare getting a chance to play for the province.
“It is a very good initiative having cricket being played after a very long time of no sports in the country. We are going to see young cricketers from Mutare getting a chance to play for the province. It is a different set up from the franchise where we have the well- known players coming to play for Mutare. We will get to see new blood showcasing their talent. I am happy also that we will have some games at MSC,” he said.
Mountaineers and national team coach Shephard Makunura had this to say, ” It is a very good tournament that offers an equal strength for strength competition. It also helps expose a lot of players. It offers an opportunity for them to showcase their talents,” he said