ZIMBABWE Cricket’s new kids on the block – Rising Stars – are set to make their Logan Cup debut tomorrow when they travel to Kwekwe Sports Club for a date against Mid-West Rhinos.
The side, which is the brainchild of former national team captain and current ZC convener of selectors Tatenda Taibu, is made up of promising players who have been brought together for nurturing under an academy set-up. The squad that has been selected to start tomorrow includes some Zimbabwe internationals Ryan Burl, Richard Ngarava with Tarisai Musakanda as captain.
The other members include Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Kuziva Ziwira, William Mashinge, Tinashe Kanhukamwe, Taffy Mupariwa (Wkt), Faraz Akram, Thamsanqa Nunu and Mkhululi Nyathi The team has been working hard under the tutelage of Stuart Matsikenyeri, Taibu and Alec Gezi. They have also played games in England as part of their development program this year.
ZC spokesperson Darlington Majonga yesterday said they were excited with the new project and the opportunities that are being given to the young players drawn from across the country. The Logan Cup competition will kickstart the season with the four-day game expected to give national team players some time on the crease ahead of the upcoming tour by West Indies later this month.
Five teams – Harare Metropolitan Eagles, Matabeleland Metropolitan Tuskers, Midland Rhinos, Rising Stars and defending champions Manicaland Mountaineers – will feature in the first class tournament.
Harare Metropolitan Eagles and Tuskers will resume their rivalry in the premier domestic first class competition at Harare Sports Club tomorrow. The second round of matches are on next week with Rising Stars in action again against Eagles at their Takashinga home ground. The Logan Cup will pave way for the Associate Twenty20 league late November with the Pro50 competition expected to begin on December 1.
The fixtures will alternate with the Logan Cup matches. A lot of cricket is in store for the Zimbabwean players as a national league featuring eight teams has been lined up from February to March.
The T20 tournament featuring at least two foreign teams will bring the curtain down in April next year.