Franchise cricket season begins

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Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S domestic cricket season for 2013-2014 will start next week after its resumption had hung in the balance.
The domestic season was under threat as the cricket mother body was facing serious cash flow problems.
Although it could not be established whether the franchise system got a sponsor or not, the resumption of the games brings a big sigh of relief to local cricketers.
Only a few players managed to sign for foreign clubs spelling doom for other players plying their trade in the domestic league.
The inactivity of the franchise cricket will also negatively impact on the development of the national team.
Already the team is playing less international fixtures and the inactivity of the players was going to be disastrous for the game.
The franchise is the feeder league for the national teams.
Action starts on December 7 with four teams playing in the Pro50. Mashonaland Eagles start their rivalry with Mid-West Rhinos at Harare Sports Club while Southern Rocks clash with Matabeleland Tuskers at Masvingo Sports Club.
The Logan Cup (longer version of the game) will start from December 9 to 12 pitting Logan Cup Mashonaland Eagles and Mid-West Rhinos at Harare Sports Club.
Masvingo-based franchise Southern Rocks will host Matabeleland Tuskers at Masvingo Sports Club between the same period.
Mountaineers play their first game of the season on December 15 in the Pro50.
They will face-off with Mashonaland Eagles at Mutare Sports Club.
After the Pro50s, the two will square up in the Logan Cup from 17 to 20 December in Mutare.
Mid-West Rhinos and Southern Rocks will also battle it out at Kwekwe Sports Club in the Logan Cup in the same period.
After the two Logan Cup fixtures, the domestic league will take a breather until January 18.
The franchises have produced recognised players on the local scene.
Some of the players have represented the country at international level.
However, lack of sponsorship dogs the league as it is failing to attract players from other leagues to improve the competitiveness of the league.
Players like Brian Vitori, TendaiChatara, Shingi Masakadza, VusiSibanda, NjabuloNcube and Tinotenda Mawoyo, among others, are some of the products of the franchises.

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