Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
Zimbabwe Cricket together with T Ten Global Sports unveiled the eagerly anticipated Zim-Afro T10 a franchise-based tournament that is set to feature cricket stars from across the world.
The launch was held this Friday evening at a colourful event held in Harare.
The inaugural edition of the Zim Afro T10 will be held in August this year, with six privately-owned teams under the names Harare, Bulawayo, Nairobi, Capetown, Durban and Windhoek.
T10 is a new edition of cricket that has excited fans across the world with its fast passed approach as it is played over 90 minutes with each team playing 10 overs apiece. Zimbabwe is the second full-member nation after Sri Lanka to have a T10 franchise tournament.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was represented by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Honourable Kazembe Kazembe, said Government has fully embraced the T10 tournament and is ready to welcome investors in the sport.
“Government is excited about this development and we are fully behind the idea of the Zim Afro T10 tournament that is set to bring enormous benefits to the country. My government continues to support sport in the country and we are ready to welcome any investor who wants to bring development to the country and we stand ready to welcome the global cricket stars that will be coming to Zimbabwe,” he said.
The man behind T10, Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, is excited to be bringing the magic of T10 cricket to Zimbabwe.
Mulk is the UAE-based investor behind the state-of-the-art Zim Cyber-City real estate project that is being developed in Mount Hampden on the outskirts of Harare.
“As our association with cricket continues to grow, we are delighted to bring to Zimbabwe an exciting format that will not only advance the reach, attractiveness and growth of the sport but will also present a massive opportunity for private investment into the franchises. We wish to thank Zimbabwe Cricket for accepting our proposal to invest in this game-changer and we are looking forward to an incredible journey together,” said Mulk.
Zimbabwe Cricket is confident the league will provide great entertainment for the fans, top-level competition for the players and vast exposure for the investors.
Zimbabwe Cricket chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani said, “We are thrilled to unveil our own franchise-based T10 league, a powerful format that we believe is exactly what our changing, fast-paced world needs right now. We are confident the Zim Afro T10 league will excite a global fan base, create massive mileage for its commercial partners and, more importantly, propel our cricket forward and lay a positive roadmap for how the game is perceived for future generations.”
Government was well represented at the launch and showed its support with the presence of the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Cde Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa who was accompanied by Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, the ZANU PF spokesperson, as well as Honorable Tino Machakaire, the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.
The participating franchises, player auction dates, fixtures and other details will be announced in due course.