Various tours, programmes and courses were undertaken to advance women’s cricket during the period under review. The main focus in 2010 being the Regional Women`s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers that were held in Nairobi Kenya in December.
The road to these qualifiers was paved with a concentrated effort on ZC’s part to ensure that the existing expertise within the organization was harnessed to assist the senior women’s team achieve their goals. This strategy even saw the team admirably face the Churchill U16 Boys and then the Harare Province ZRP men`s teams! The franchises have done well working with the players and the ladies played more cricket in this season. Selectors had a tougher time choosing the squad not only because of increased number of candidates but the swell of competitive players. This 15 member squad underwent a specialized five day training camp where coaches from the various franchises were brought in to share their expertise.
As part of the focus on age group cricket in girl’s schools ZC introduced the first ever inter-franchise women’s age group tournaments in March, starting with development stages from under-13 to senior levels. The tournament was part of the first phase to create a stable feeder system for the national women’s team and the five year programme has already started to show signs of progress.
The plan is to have national girl’s teams at U13, U14, U16, U17 and U19 level by 2014.
The 2010 inter-franchise tournaments were held between 5 and 9 April. The emphasis in 2010 was the occupation of the crease, hence most games played by the age groups were declaration cricket. This event was also used to select provisional squads for each age group.
Mash Eagles were crowned the winners of the BancABC under-13 cricket week after defeating the Mountaineers by 125 runs. The tournament ran from 6 to 9 December and was held at Prince Edward School in Harare. The annual tournament had six under-13 teams coming from the country’s five franchises and a Development XI squad as the sixth. It was used as the selection tournament for the Zimbabwe under 13 national squad (President XI) team.
U13 SQUAD: K. Jaure; W. Huchu; N. Welch; A. Kok; S.Curran; J. Mama; M. Madhombiro; J. Brynt; G.Gaya; J. Schadendorf; A. Curtis; D. Dube; R. Murray; D. Vermaak; M. Sungayi; T. Muzamhindo; S. Price; A. Bingley; B. Ndlela; T. Mawere; C. Mangachena; K. Bruce; M. Chikowero and M. Conolly
U14 SQUAD: D. Mawadza; J. Steyn; L. Shama; K. Robinson; M. Ferreria; K. Patel; M. Hulbert; D. Sly; C. Chaibva; M. Rosy; T. Serima; L. Mahohoma; K. Hobva; C. Chiradza; K. Dunn; E. Byron; D. Chitongo; D. Muzite; C. Nyakudza; M. Dlodlo and T. Jambi
The U16s participated in the EJCCA Tournament in Benoni, SA and won each of the 50-over games they played. Notable performances were from H, Macheke, F. Kabike and D. Moolman. U17 SQUAD: A. MacLeod; S. Khan; M. Lake; M. Torr; D. Bell; R. Wallbridge; R. Burl; A. Odendaal; C. Kunje; O. Mhanje; L. Jongwe; J. Gumbie; M. Wicks; B. Majoka and S. Musekwa
The U17s also competed in the EJCCA tournament in South Africa, winning three and losing two of the 50-over games played against the hosts. Notable performances were from O. Mhanje, M. Lake and R. Burl.
This tour was a wonderful opportunity for our players to gain exposure and experience against some quality opposition. The experience’s we gained on this tour are going to be invaluable for the future, especially heading to the world cup in 13 months. Although the results didn’t go to plan, the improvement throughout the tournament was very obvious. This tour also highlighted our major areas of concern, our lack of discipline, mental strength and inability to concentrate for the length of time required at this level to be successful.
ZC has 39 student enrolled in the scholarship programme, all of whom are playing in the various national age group teams. In order to further develop these young cricketers, the high performance coaches also ran one on one coaching programmes in the year under review. The scholarship schools are Prince Edward, Churchill, Mutare Boys High, Watershed, Victoria High, Falcon College and Milton High.
The inaugural Stanbic Bank Pro20 Series was held at Harare Sports Club from 12 to 20 February 2010. All five ZC franchise teams participated with the Namibian national team, known as the Desert Vipers as the sixth team.
A number of former players and overseas players were contracted by the franchises specifically for the tournament.
Anthony Ireland and Ian Harvey appeared for the Southern Rocks, Doug Marillier for Mash Eagles, Andy Blignaut for Matabeleland Tuskers, Greg Smith for the Mountaineers and Darren Stevens and Ollie Rayner for Kwekwe’s MidWest Rhinos.
After nine days of exciting cricket, the final was played between Mountaineers and Mash Eagles. Mountaineers beat Mash Eagles in magnificent style by nine wickets.
After bowling their vaunted opponents out for a mere 105 runs, they romped to victory on the back of outstanding innings by the two renowned internationals and former schoolmates, Hamilton Masakadza and Tatenda Taibu.
The final day saw 7500 spectators walking through the gates at Harare Sports Club, an unprecedented number in over a hundred years of cricket in Zimbabwe.
So successful was the inaugural competition that a second series was staged in November.
The again huge crowd at Harare Sports Club witnessed a thrilling final between Mash Eagles - who had just fell short of the title in the first edition- and underdogs Mid West Rhinos.
The match swung one way and then the other, with the result in doubt until the final ball.
The hero in the end was Andrew Hall, who followed a fine innings with some superb death bowling that proved too much for Rhinos. Mash Eagles beat Mid West Rhinos by one run for the title.
Mountaineers, which had dominated the first edition of the Stanbic Bank Pro20 fell to the bottom of the log.
In the 2009/2010 season, the Metbank Pro40 (then known as the Faithwear/Metbank 1-Day Competition) was played over two rounds with each franchise playing eight games.
The final was played at Mutare Sports Club between Mountaineers and the Mid West Rhinos on 10 April 2010. In a low scoring but very exciting game, the Mountaineers emerged champions after laboring to beat the Rhinos by three wickets chasing a target of 145 runs.
Helped by some strange bowling changes, the two all-rounders Prosper Utseya and Shingi Masakadza shared a magnificent and totally unexpected unbroken partnership of 83 for the eighth wicket that took the home side home. In the 2010/2011 season, Mid West Rhinos got a second chance to take the rebranded Metbank Pro 40 title when they faced Southern Rocks in the final at Harare Sports Club.
But it was not to be; consistent batting from Southern Rocks’ top order - led by Tafadzwa Kamungozi - took them to a fine eight-wicket victory and their first tournament trophy.