T20 tournament moved to Bulawayo

Bukhosi Mangena Sports Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Cricket T20 Franchise Tournament that was scheduled for Harare has now been moved to Bulawayo as part of efforts to decentralise the game. The tournament is now billed for Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) from February 9-13, and will be used to beef up the national team for the T20 World Cup set for India in March.
Among the stars expected to take part in the tournament are newly appointed Chevrons’ captain Hamilton Masakadza and his deputy, leg-spinner Graeme Cremer, as well as former national team pace bowlers Christopher Mpofu and Tawanda Mupariwa.
Matabeleland Tuskers, MidWest Rhinos, Mashonaland Eagles and Mountaineers will be joined by the Chevrons for the five-day cricket fiesta to be played in a round robin format.
The last time Bulawayo hosted such a cricket extravaganza was in 2015 when powerhouses Australia and South Africa played in a tri-series involving the Chevrons.
Matabeleland Tuskers administrator Stanley Staddon urged local cricket lovers to come in numbers to prove that Bulawayo has the passion and capacity to host big cricket tournaments.
“Locals have been longing for Bulawayo to host the national team saying they were being overlooked and this is the perfect opportunity for them to show that they love the game. I urge them to come and support the event to show that we love cricket,” said Staddon.
“I know they won’t let us down and believe the stands will be filled to capacity.”
A preliminary tournament was held at the weekend to select a provincial squad to represent Bulawayo.
Bulawayo Metropolitan Cricket (BMC) chairman Vumi Moyo also urged fans to turn out in large numbers for the tournament.
“We will be hosting a big event and since we have been crying for exposure, this is the perfect platform to show that Bulawayo has got what it takes to host a high profile event,” said Moyo.

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