ZC delays first class provincial teams
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.