ZC de­lays first class provin­cial teams

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Reporter Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Reporter

THE de­lay by Zim­babwe Cricket (ZC) in an­nounc­ing the start of the 2016/17 sea­son has af­fected first class provin­cial teams’ prepa­ra­tions, with Bu­l­awayo Metropoli­tan Tuskers, for­merly Mata­bele­land Tuskers Cricket Fran­chise, coach Wayne James say­ing it made plan­ning dif­fi­cult.

The 2016/17 do­mes­tic sea­son starts in Oc­to­ber and ZC, which has done away with fran­chise cricket and re­verted to the old sys­tem of op­er­at­ing with a first class do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion, will meet the prov­inces next week to out­line the pro­gramme.

James said he still had a huge train­ing squad and they were only do­ing fit­ness ex­er­cises.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to pre­pare when you don’t know when the sea­son starts. As it is, we’re train­ing with a big squad, con­cen­trat­ing on fit­ness drills and we will only move for­ward once we know when the sea­son starts,” said James.

From a train­ing squad of 30, the Tuskers boss has sub­mit­ted his pro­vi­sional list of 20 play­ers that is still await­ing board ap­proval.

“The board is likely to sit after the ZC and provin­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ meet­ing. ZC pub­lic re­la­tions and me­dia man­ager Dar­ling­ton Ma­jonga said the meet­ing with the prov­inces would be next Tues­day.

“The pre-sea­son meet­ing to de­lib­er­ate on the struc­ture, con­di­tions of play and fix­tures is on Tues­day, 27 Septem­ber. Only after that meet­ing should we be able to come up with a fi­nal draft of the 2016/17 cal­en­dar.

“We in­tend to have the first class sea­son run­ning be­tween mid-Oc­to­ber and April 2017,” Ma­jonga said.

The first class prov­inces are Bu­l­awayo Metropoli­tan Tuskers, Harare Metropoli­tan Ea­gles, Man­i­ca­land Moun­taineers and Mid­lands Rhi­nos.

On play­ers’ con­tracts, Ma­jonga said: “We’ve given cen­tral con­tracts to 16 play­ers and we will soon be giv­ing provin­cial con­tracts. All that should hap­pen be­fore the start of the sea­son.” — @ZililoR.

Chicken Inn 2-0 Mutare City RAH­MAN Gumbo’s gam­ble to leave out tooth­less strik­ers Obidiah Tarumbwa and Moses De­mera paid off as his side col­lected max­i­mum points against rel­e­ga­tion threat­ened Mutare City at White City Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

Goals in ei­ther half by de­fender Lawrence Mh­langa and striker Ish­mael Lawe gave cham­pi­ons Chicken Inn some re­lief fol­low­ing two con­sec­u­tive de­feats in league and cup matches.

A com­bi­na­tion be­tween Mh­langa and left­back Devine Lunga saw the cen­tre-back ris­ing above Mutare City Rovers’ de­fend­ers to head the cham­pi­ons into the lead in the 21st minute.

It was a de­serv­ing lead for Chicken Inn, who en­joyed su­pe­rior ball pos­ses­sion all af­ter­noon.

Lawe ex­tended the lead three min­utes after re­plac­ing Ozias Zibande, ben­e­fit­ing from a quick break­through the right side in the 76th minute.

Chicken Inn right-back Pass­more Bernard in­ter­cepted a ball and fed the ev­er­green Cle­mence Matawu, who de­liv­ered a through pass to Lawe.


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