Kevin Mapasure Kadoma Cricket Academy two-day winter league roars to life tomorrow in the mining town.
The league, which is the brainchild of and is being bankrolled by former Zimbabwe fast bowler Edward Rainsford, will run for the next five weeks ending on the weekend of July 2-3.
Kadoma and Rimuka sides who both boast of national team players and some exciting young talent will battle it out for honours.
However, it looks like Rimuka on paper is the stronger side captained by national team batsman, Tarisai Musakanda. Takudzwanashe Kaitano and leg spinner Brandon Mavuta are also part of the Rimuka team.
Wicketkeeper batsman Nyasha Mayavo who is captaining the Kadoma team is the biggest draw card in that team followed by Victor Chirwa.
Rainsford hosted a tournament before the Covid-19 pandemic hit and brought everything to a halt. He has now revived the tournament and has changed the format too.
“In the past we used to host white ball tournaments with my late mum and the community helping out. We used to run coaching clinics as well but we have now shifted our thrust towards the two-day games,” said the former Zimbabwe international.
In a world where most young players and new fans prefer T20 cricket, Rainsford who is now an established cricket commentator believes that better well-rounded cricketers are only made by playing the longer version of the game.
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“I believe the fundamentals of cricket are built around the longer version of the game. All the great players in world cricket right now, from Virat Kholi, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson, will tell you that Test cricket is the ultimate format.
“Yes, there are many T20 franchise leagues around the world and it’s making a lot of money for the players but most of them still believe test cricket remains the bedrock of the sport,” Rainsford said.
Rainsford, who played 46 ODI’s for Zimbabwe, is implementing some of the things he has seen in his travels.
On why he decided to sponsor this tournament, Rainsford says he just wants to help his community and help in producing future stars for the nation.
“It’s my way of looking at how I can play a part in the Zimbabwe cricket structures. T20 cricket is the flavour of the moment, but I wanted to go to the basics where we build wholesome cricketers and find some gems within the system.”