HomeSportEagles favourites to land Lara

Eagles favourites to land Lara

WEST Indies cricket legend Brian Lara will play in Zimbabwe’s domestic Stanbic Bank T-20 championships next month with Mashonaland Eagles and Southern Rocks chasing for his signature.

Lara’s return will see him play in the ever exciting 20-over championships that will be played in Harare from November 12 to 20.
While the Trinidad and Tobago born left-handed batsman has since agreed to come and play locally, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is currently finalising his contract before he is committed to one of the franchises.
ZC managing director Ozias Bvute confirmed that Lara was making a return to play the game in which he established himself as one of the best ever.
“He is coming to play in the T-20 Championships next month,” Bvute said. “We are in contract negotiations with him. We should seal a deal soon. He has since agreed to come and play. We are finalising terms with him. He is likely to sign for Eagles, but Rocks are a strong possibility too.”
He said that ZC was excited about the deal as it further raises the profile of the domestic game, which has already attracted some of the biggest names.
Eagles and Rocks will be looking to have the batting legend in their line up when the championships start.
Rocks have Kenyan captain Steven Tikolo and are also looking to re-sign all-rounder Sean Ervine for the T-20 Championships.
Rocks chief executive officer Givemore Makoni confirmed their interest in Lara.
“We are still to get confirmation that he has agreed to come and play here, but we are definitely going to do our best to bring him to Masvingo once he is available,” said Makoni.
Lara is a veteran of 131 Tests and the highlight of his career is his unbeaten 400 against England, which remains an unsurpassed achievement.
He played in 299 ODIs and scored 1 045 runs before he turned his back on the game in 2007.
After a bad last season, Rocks have since signed national team wicketkeeper batsman Tatenda Taibu and Stuart Matsikenyere, hoping to launch a better challenge for honours.
Lara officiated at the CBZ awards ceremony in September where he revealed his interest in helping Zimbabwe’s rehabilitation by coming to play here.
Already with the return of Grant Flower at Eagles, and the inclusion of Australian Jason Gillespie (Midwest Rhinos) as well as South African Alan Donald (Mountaineers) as coaches, Zimbabwe has continued to attract interest in the cricket world as they build towards restoring the team as a force after years of decline.
Zimbabwe established the franchise system this year and has seen the national team improving their performances on the international scene.
Zimbabwe will be making a return to the Test arena next year after a self-imposed exile, and have already made considerable inroads in forming a team for the longest version of the game.
Lara is expected to help with the coaching of national team batsmen during his stay in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe take on South Africa in the last of the three MTN One-Day-Internationals in Benoni in a day and night match.
South Africa has already sealed a series win, but Zimbabwe will be looking to get a consolation win that would boost confidence ahead of the International Cricket Council World Cup next year on the sub-continent.
In the two matches, Zimbabwe put up a competitive batting display, but their bowling remained a limiting factor.
Brendan Taylor, who became the ninth batsman to carry his bat throughout the innings with 145, and Tatenda Taibu, who scored a half century in the first match, will be looking at continuing with the fine form again today.
Opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza, who was rested in the last match that Zimbabwe lost by eight wickets, is expected to return as the selectors take another look of their options ahead of Asia.
In the bowling department, Shingi Masakadza has shown some great potential and the selectors should give him another run today.

Kevin Mapasure

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