ZC announce new Zimbabwe Cricket League (April Fools)

Posted by brmtaylor.com admin on April 01, 2008

In a bid to cash in on the lucrative Twenty20 format, chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket, Peter Chingoka, announced the formation of the Zimbabwe Cricket League (ZCL) in Harare this morning.

"We are confident that this tournament will be hugely successful", Chingoka told members at the press conference at ZC's Harare Sports Club headquarters, "We have discussed the matter with the BCCI (Board of Cricket Control in India) and they have no objections to us using a similar format, providing the timing of ours does not clash with theirs."

Chingoka also said that there would be potential for an Indian Premier League XI to play a Zimbabwe Cricket League XI in special exhibition matches around Asia and Africa to bring the game to new regions.

Zimbabwe Cricket has announced the following structure, with individual stakeholders earning the naming rights to each city team. As this format involves cities rather than provinces, this will not affect the Logan Cup and Faithwear competitions.

- Banda's "Bulawayo Bigshots" (Lovemore Banda, ZC media manager)
- "Mutare Magic" (yet to find a buyer)
- Chingoka's "Chitungwiza Chargers" (Peter Chingoka, ZC president)
- Brent's "Beitbridge Biggershots" (Gary Brent, Zimbabwe fast bowler)

The 4 teams will play a round robin tournament, sponsored by Croco Motors, with the top 2 progressing to a best-of-7 finals series, which Old Mutual will be sponsoring.

Each team must field 4 Zimbabwean internationals, 2 domestic players, and one under 19 player. The remaining players are international stars which were purchased at a private auction last week.

"We have many international stars in this tournament. Moses Otieno, Benjamin Musoke, Tshepo Mhozya... must I go on?", Chingoka said, beaming.

When pressed that these were just fringe players struggling to get a game for the likes of Botswana and Uganda, and not actual international players, Chingoka shot back, "Yes, we have more... Abbas Ali Baig, the retired India star, Madhav Krishnaji Mantri, who made 39 runs at Test level for India... there is a long list".

Ali Baig is now 69 years old and played his last Test in 1967, while 86 year old Mantri retired almost 41 years ago. This didn't seem to worry Chingoka.

"They are experienced. Age was not a factor when we approached the international stars. We know they will compete, that is what they are paid to do".

Each city was assigned a star player who will also captain the city team, they were Prosper Utseya (Bigshots), Gary Brent (Magic, despite owning the Beitbridge team), David Mutendera (brought out of retirement to captain the Magic) and Hamilton Masakadza (Biggershots). They are also the top paid players, earning upwards of ZWD $805bn per match.

All matches will be played at Harare Sports Club, and Chingoka hopes that tournament this will help the country's bid for the 2015 World Cup.

"Certainly, should this tournament be the huge success we expect it to be, there is no way Zimbabwe will be overlooked for the 2015 World Cup."