Ellina Mhlanga-Senior Sports Reporter
THE ZIMBABWE Baseball Association vice-president competitions Eldon Mudzingwa says more competitions will help the local game develop as they host their inter-provincial tournament in Harare.
The event got underway on Sunday at Allan Wilson with nine-men’s teams competing, including Zambia’s national team. The rest of the teams were drawn from six provinces – Harare, Bulawayo, Midlands, Mashonaland West, Manicaland and Masvingo.
They also have two women’s teams — Southern and Northern select sides — playing in exhibition matches.
“We have eight local teams participating from six provinces. Harare and Bulawayo have two teams each — their senior teams and Under-23s as well. “We have a visiting team, Zambia national team, they are also taking part on invitation and we have two ladies select sides — Northern and Southern. This is the first time ladies are playing, they are used to softball, so it’s an exhibition game.
“The competition is rising, the more game time we have, the more our teams develop,” said Mudzingwa.
The teams were divided into two groups with Group A made up of Masvingo, Bulawayo Seniors, Manicaland and Harare Under-23. Harare Seniors, Zambia, Mashonaland West, Midlands and Bulawayo Under-23 were in Group B.
The top two teams from each group advance to the finals which are set for today at Motor Action Sports Club.
The tournament is being used as a selection event for national teams and just like the other sport codes, they are still recovering from the ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But they are hopeful as they hold the first of their inter-provincial tournaments for this year. They usually have two such competitions — one in August and the other one in December.
Having staged one event last year in December it seems they are on track to returning to their usual calendar this year.
“It has had an effect especially on our senior guys, you know our players, the more they stay at home, the more they stay idle obviously it had an effect…coming back into the game it’s not easy.
“It’s not easy to take them all back at the same time, some would have given up…But the numbers are starting to swell up. We are currently selecting our national teams, the seniors, Under-23 as well as the ladies national team. “Usually we have two major tournaments per year. We have the inter-provincial in August and in December. During the course of the year they play provincial games,” said Mudzingwa.
Harare are the defending champions having won the title last December.
They will be hoping to retain the title.
The tournament continues with the finals are set for today.