ZC to bankroll National League

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has agreed to sponsor the revived National League, which makes a return to the domestic cricket calendar next year following a seven-year absence.

Club cricket for long acted as a feeder to the country’s first-class sides and national team, but the club structure became a victim of economic hardships at the height of Zimbabwe’s socioeconomic crisis.

Rhuhwaya, the ZC general manager for media and public affairs, said the country’s cricket governing body acknowledges the role club cricket plays in providing players for provincial and national teams, hence the reintroduction of the National League.

“We acknowledge the role that club cricket plays in the feeder system to the national team which is why we have reached a concession and reintroduce the National League programme which is fully funded and administered by ZC,” Rhuhwaya told the Daily News yesterday.

Rhuhwaya however, insisted that it was not ZC’s obligation to oversee the running of club cricket in the country.

“According to our constitution, a club is a voluntary community based entity which is managed and supported by its members and the provincial associations they belong to,” she said.

“The responsibility of running and funding club cricket has always resided with the provincial associations, not Zimbabwe Cricket. ZC’s willingness in the past to assist some of these clubs should not be misconstrued as an obligation. Our responsibility as ZC lies with the national teams and the age-group teams and it can easily be established that ZC has never failed to fulfil its obligations in this regard.”

The eight-team competition begins in May.

Harare Metropolitan Province and Mashonaland Central will provide three times while Bulawayo Metro and Matebeleland North will have two sides.

Manicaland and Mashonaland East, Midlands and Mashonaland West as well as Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces will field a team each.

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