Franchise cricket in limbo

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ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) are yet to finalise on the 2013/2014 domestic cricket league, it has been established.
Serious cashflow problems are affecting the resumption of the 2013/2014 cricket league as the country’s cricket mother body continues to face financial difficulties.
Head of media affairs, Lovemore Banda confirmed that the dates for the franchise cricket are yet to be finalised owing to a number of challenges among them cash.
“Yes money is an issue here and like any other organisation in the country we are facing some financial constraints,” said Banda.
Banda said ZC makes more revenue from tours of top cricket playing countries like Australia, England and India through TV rights adding that the recent tours by Bangladesh and Pakistan gobbled a million dollars.
The domestic league comprises of five franchises Mashonaland Eagles, Matabeleland Tuskers, Mountaineers, Southern Rocks and Mid-West Rhinos.
The five act as feeders to the national team and their dormant state negatively affected the development and competitiveness of the senior men’s national team.
ZC is responsible for the day-to-day running of the franchises through grants.
With the financial difficulties facing the cricket mother body, the franchises will not be spared.
Currently ZC is reeling under a soaring debt which affected the national team players’ remunerations.
Some of the players have snubbed the national team owing to non-payment of salaries and appearance fees.
Some unconfirmed reports doing rounds were that ZC will be weaning the five franchises from their budget but Banda refuted the claims.
“We are still financing the franchises from the ZC fiscus,” said Banda.
The franchises have been effective in talent identification.
Brian Vitori from Masvingo’s Southern Rocks, Njabulo Ncube from Tuskers, Richmond Mutumbami, Shingi Masakadza and Tymcen Maruma among others are some of the products of the system.
It will be sad if the local league fails to see the light of the day.
The National Women’s Soccer League failed to take off the ground after the sole sponsor, Marange Resources, pulled out and ZC will need to attract sponsorship to keep the game alive.

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