KWEKWE-Midlands Province has its first cricket team plying its trade in the National Premier League (NPL).
Kwekwe-based Mbizo Cricket Team was promoted to the NPL after winning the Rhinos Franchise Midlands provincial domestic league in May.
The outfit is playing its first 2023-24 league fixture away to Queens 1 at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Mbizo coach Ronald Masocha told The Mirror in an interview that he has a competitive team of youngsters with three experienced Pakistanis.
He said the club aims to compete, learn and get exposure to the game.
“We are happy that our team won the Midlands domestic league. We have been working hard to achieve the goal, and it feels great to be among the best clubs in the country.
“This is the first time that a club from the Midlands Province has qualified to play in the NPL. We have a competitive team of youngsters. At this level, we want to grow the game of cricket in the Midlands,” he said.
Mbizo’s next clash is with Westside at Old Hararians Sports Club in Harare.
Masocha added that his squad has local players from the Mbizo community.
“We are aiming at representing the province with high standards of play. Our preparations are going very well. We have beefed our team with three Pakistan players, however, the majority of our players are from the Mbizo community,” he said.
Team manager Admire Maridza said he is happy with the team’s achievement.
“For the Midlands to have a team that has been promoted to play in the NPL is a great achievement. We are happy with this development and hope the boys will make us proud. We are not expecting much from the team. The whole idea is to get exposure and grow the game of cricket in the Midlands,” he said.
Scorpions represent Masvingo Province, with Westside and Mutare Sports Club representing Manicaland Province. Kadoma Cricket Club and Golden Bulls are from Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South.
Gladiators, Uprising, Takashinga Patriots 1, Rainbow and Takashinga Patriots 2 are from Harare. Bulawayo Athletic Club, Amakhosi and Queens Sports Club are from Bulawayo.