Cricket clubs head for splinter league

Enock Muchinjo

CLUBS are now headed for splinter league in the divided Mashonaland province after new Mashonaland Cricket Association (MCA) chairman Cyprian Mandenge announced revised fixtures that exclude s

ix top clubs expelled from the province last week.


The new-look MCA first league consists of six development clubs taken from the lower leagues in the province. Only Uprising played in the province’s first league last season.


The six established clubs – Harare Sports Club, Old Hararians, Old Georgians, Alexandra, Takashinga and Universals – were expelled by the MCA board for allegedly bringing the game into disrepute after boycotting league matches a fortnight ago.


The clubs are refusing to recognise the new MCA leadership, and have accused Mandenge and the province’s selectors convener, Bruce Makovah, of allegedly threatening and racially insulting players when they stormed Harare Sports Club and barred a match between the home side and Old Hararians on Sunday.


The clubs said they would write a report to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman Peter Chingoka, and would also take legal action against the Mashonaland officials.


IndependentSport understands that the six expelled clubs might be forming their own league, the Mashonaland Premier Cricket League.


An official from one of the clubs said: “We have got most of the national team players, and nothing will stop us from playing cricket.


“We do not need quantity cricket, we need quality cricket. If it means the six top clubs in the country playing among themselves, then it’s actually a good thing for our cricket.”


The events in Mashonland are likely to compound Zimbabwe’s cricket internal wrangles that have gone unabated for close to 18 months, and could have deeper repercussions on the sport in the country. The squabbles have been blamed on uncontrolled power craving and unrestrained egotism from the rival camps.


ZC managing director Ozias Bvute said the ZC board would only intervene when they get official notification of events in the province.


“What we have been hearing are just rumours and we do not work on the basis of rumours,” said Bvute.


“Mashonaland is an independent body and there has to be some level of autonomy. But it is certainly a cause for concern for us when our affiliates are squabbling.”


ZC directors have their next board meeting next month, but the board might be pressured to act sooner than later.

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