Sponsorship boost for cricket tourney

HARARE – The Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association four-team Twenty20 cricket tournament has received overwhelming support from various sponsors lining up to be associated with the event.

At a time when the Harare Metropolitan Vigne Cup League is struggling to remain afloat due the lack of funding, it is not the same with the T20 tournament which has been scheduled for this Saturday at Old Hararians Sports Club.

The tournament is being organised by the University of Zimbabwe Alumni and Executive Golf Solutions, who have already struck endorsement deals with Irvines Zimbabwe, Nandos, African Sun and Schweppes.

The four teams that will take part in the tournament are Harare Sports Club, Old Hararians, Old Malvernians and a Chitungwiza Select team made up of Royal, Uprising and UZ cricketers.

Tournament coordinator, Kenneth Gombe, a former UZ cricket chairperson and a member of the Vigne Cup league committee, said they have tied down most of the sponsorship deals and are only left with the naming rights.

“The preparations have gone well so far with all the four teams invited confirming their participation in the tournament,” Gombe told the Daily News on Wednesday..

“We have reached the final stage with our sponsors and I can confirm that Irvines Zimbabwe, Nandos, Schweppes and Africa Sun have offered us some sponsorship deals as far as teams branding and lunches.

“We are however, still to finalise on whom to give the naming rights of the tournament and we are waiting for responses from Metro Peech and Croco Motors.”

Gombe also explained the criteria used to come up with the four participating teams.

“The tournament participants were picked up on an invitational basis. We chose teams that were inactive during winter since it’s off season for the Harare Metro League.

“Given the short notice we could not include all the 10 teams in the tournament played over one. Also given the limited resources that we have we thought four teams could start for this year and include the other teams in the next year’s tournament.

“We expect good cricket to be played on the day; we also hope to attract sponsors who will partner with us in the 2013/14 season for the Vigne Cup.

“This is the first step towards regaining the sponsors that were lost by the Local League since the coming on board of the franchise system.

We hope the tournament will signal the end of all the challenges that we face as a league as we will have an opportunity to mix and mingle with captains from corporate world on that day.”

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