LOCAL cricketers have a new competition to look forward to after Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) reintroduction of the National Premier League (NPL) at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Speaking at the launch, ZC chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani said NPL signaled a return to basics for the local game and is expected to unearth new stars to broaden the selection base.
“The launch of the NPL is the beginning of a new journey that I believe will see new cricketers coming through.
“That should be the mandate of development of cricket in the country and we should see it run professionally.
“Selection must be done without bias. We want to see everyone getting a chance. Everyone must be looked at by the selectors.
“I believe this is the best thing that we can do for the selectors, to have the opportunity to watch the talent that we have as ZC,” Mukuhlani said.
Former Zimbabwe Test captain Hamilton Masakadza, who is now the ZC director of cricket, said the NPL will reinvigorate club cricket.
“Our club cricket platform is where we give the up and coming cricketers an opportunity to mix with all the experienced guys.
“We do this at domestic level as well in the provincial tournament but at this level, there’s a little bit more opportunity as well as more teams that are coming together and playing against each other.
“What we see in the end is the end result when the guys stand before you in an international game but what we don’t see are all the other levels leading into it and this is a very important level that we are going to be reintroducing again,” Masakadza said.
ZC acting-managing director Givemore Makoni said they have entrusted clubs to run their own affairs and ensure there is a smooth-flowing programme.
“We have put a lot of emphasis on first class cricket as our platform to select players from.
“We had Zimbabwe Premier League two years ago, which was a club competition which we stopped because of financial issues.
“Now that we have taken care of our financial issues, we have reintroduced the club competition in a bigger and greater way,” Makoni said.