NPL vehicle to spread cricket

14 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
NPL vehicle to spread cricket The NPL kit unveiling ceremony.

Suburban

ZIMBABWE Cricket have described the National Premier League, which rolls into life on Saturday June 15, 2024 as a vehicle for expanding the sport to all corners of the country.

Don Makanyanga Sports Reporter

The field is bigger this year as 14 teams will be vying for the coveted silverware in the country’s premium club cricket tournament.

ZC have not made secret their desire to become the number one sport in the country.

As part of their initiatives, the local cricket mother body has rolled out various programmes and this includes the NPL, which will have its fourth edition rolling into life tomorrow across the country.

ZC managing director Givemore Makoni revealed that the premium club cricket competition was part of the vehicles they are using to expand the sport of cricket.

“Club cricket is our vehicle for expansion, and it is in all the four corners of the country.

“We have teams playing in the provincial leagues with the main objective of playing in the NPL,” said Makoni.

Four teams are set to make their debut in the NPL this year and ZC are excited by the coming in of two teams from Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West Provinces.

“It is good and refreshing to see teams from minor cricket provinces Mashonaland West and East gaining promotion to play in the 2024 NPL.

“This means that the game is growing, and people are taking up the sport.

“This is in line with our objective which is to see cricket being the number one sport in the country.

Having teams from these so-called minor provinces excites us because we know that we are moving in the right direction,” said Makoni.

Having enabled participation from different parts of the country, Makoni revealed that the NPL has also widened the selection base for franchises and national sides.

“The NPL has basically breathed a new breadth of fresh air in our domestic and club cricket, and we have seen a number of players from provinces that we did not know there was serious cricket being played there.

“It has also expanded our player base and our selection base, and it is one of those important tournaments on our calendar,” said Makoni.

A total of 91 matches will be played in this NPL campaign which will see defending champions

Takashinga Patriots 1 begin their campaign with a date against Westside at Mutare Sports Club on Saturday.

Harare Metropolitan side Rangers who are among the first-time participants in the tournament together with Strikers from Mashonaland East, Rimuka from Mashonaland West and Knights from

Masvingo will make their NPL bow against Amakhosi at Masvingo Sports Club Rangers, while Takashinga Patriots 2 will be taking on Bulawayo Athletic Club at Kwekwe Sports Club on Saturday, with Gladiators completing the day’s action against Mbizo at Old Hararians Sports Club.

On Sunday, Rimuka will mark their first ever appearance in the tournament when they host Rainbow at Kadoma Sports Club, while Strikers will make their debut against Queens Sports Club at Kwekwe Sports Club.

NPL Fixtures:

Today: Gladiators v Mbizo (Old Hararians), Westside v Takashinga Patriots 1 (Mutare Sports Club),

Rangers v Amakhosi (Masvingo Sports Club), Takashinga Patriots 2 v BAC (Kwekwe Sports Club)

Sunday: Rimuka v Rainbow (Kadoma Sports Club), Queens v Strikers (Kwekwe Sports Club), Knights v Scorpions (Masvingo Sports Club).

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