HARARE – Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has made an undertaking to provide match balls for club cricket in all the country’s 10 provinces.
Club cricket, the country’s main feeder into the provincial and nation teams, went on a decline eight years ago due to lack of funding from ZC and since then clubs have struggled to find alternative sponsorship.
The leagues although competitive have been reduced to social gatherings with the Harare Vigne Cup failing to reach a logical conclusion since 2005.
The competition finally was resurrected last year and remains to be seen if the cash strapped ZC will continue to bank roll the tourney.
Harare Metropolitan Cricket Association league (HMCA) resumed last weekend with two matches taking place and entered its second week this weekend.
ZC media and communications manager, Lovemore Banda, confirmed that the association was extending its helping hand by providing match balls to club cricket.
“Zimbabwe Cricket will provide its 10 provincial cricket associations (PCAs) with match balls to be used for their club matches,” Banda told the Daily News on Sunday.
“Clubs know that when they have pressing issues they can always make their cases to their PCAs because it is to them that they are affiliated.
“Depending on their merit, the PCAs can always raise these issues with ZC because it is they who are the ZC affiliates.”
Cyprian Mandenge, HMCA board chairman said ZC’s move to provide match balls was a welcome gesture.
Mandenge however, said that the province was still faced with a number of challenges, chief among them, paying for facilities, operational costs as well as paying umpires and scorers.
“We engaged ZC in a dialogue last week and they made a pledge to cater for the match balls so it’s more of work in progress,” said Mandenge.
“We are grateful for their support and believe that the elimination of match balls from the clubs’ budget will go a long way in alleviating their strained coffers because we still insist that the same clubs should work towards meeting the operational costs and fees for umpires and scorers among other things.”