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International cricket stars for Zim Afro T10

by Staff reporter
04 Jul 2023 at 08:26hrs | Views
Eoin Morgan
AN ARRAY of international cricket stars is expected to descend on Zimbabwe in the next two weeks for the inaugural Zim Cyber City Afro T10 following the success of the player draft conducted yesterday.

The playing squads were confirmed yesterday at the official player draft, as a number of current and former Zimbabwe national team players also got picked ahead of the historic tournament.

International players from cricket playing nations such as India, Pakistan, New Zealand, England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and South Africa will be part of the historic tournament.

Former World Cup winners Sreesanth, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, and Robin Uthappa are among six Indian cricketers who will play in the upcoming Zim Afro T10 League tournament.

Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara (England), Evin Lewis (West Indies), Shahnawaz Dahani (Pakistan), Mohammed Nabi (Afghanistan), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka) and New Zealand wicketkeeper/batsman Tim Seifert will all be heading to Harare for the tournament.

The Zim Afro T10 represents franchise cricket's first foray in Zimbabwe and the tournament will have five privately owned teams battling it out for the top prize.

The tournament, organised by Zimbabwe Cricket, in association with T Ten Global Sports, is expected to get underway on July 20 and culminate in a grand final on July 29.

"The much-awaited Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 is less than three weeks away, and the five squads for the tournament have been confirmed," said Zimbabwe Cricket in a statement yesterday.

"Beginning 20th July, some of the best white-ball cricketers will descend in Harare, and entertain the fans with some very keenly contested games. The grand final of the tournament is scheduled for 29th July, with all the games being played in Harare.

"The inaugural edition Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 is a landmark tournament as this is the first-time franchise cricket is a part of Zimbabwean cricket.

"The five teams who will be battling it out for top honours are the Durban Qalandars, Cape Town Samp Army, Harare Hurricanes, Bulawayo Braves and Johannesburg Buffaloes.

"The think tanks of the five franchises came together during a grand ceremony at the Player Draft and finalised their squads, forming impressive line-ups, which promises to produce scintillating cricket."

ZC general manager Dirk Viljoen was excited by the unfolding events in the buildup to the tournament.

"What a great occasion for Zimbabwe and cricket in Africa. We thank T10 Global for their involvement in seeing the vision and the future of cricket in Zimbabwe and Africa and to all of you the owners, the coaches and the teams for buying into the concept of the Zim Afro T10.

"Today is a historic occasion as we enter the first draft of its kind on the African continent and we look forward to some exciting 10 days of cricket in Zimbabwe. Hopefully in time we will become a powerhouse of tournaments around the world," said Viljoen.

Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza was the only Zimbabwean player among the marquee signings after he was picked by Bulawayo Braves among the icon players.

The Bulawayo Braves will go into the inaugural edition of the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 with a squad of 15 players, and have signed Taskin Ahmed, Thisara Perera, Ryan Burl, Timycen Maruma, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Faraz Akram and Mujeeb Ur Rehaman.

The Durban Qalandars have a squad of 15 players, among them Craig Ervine, Tendai Chatara, Brad Evans, Clive Madande, Nick Welch, and Andre Fletcher.

The CapeTown Samp Army have 17 players on their roster, with stars such as Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Sean Williams, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Maheesh Theekshana and Mohamed Irfan. They also took on board local players such as Richard Ngarava, Cephas Zhuwao, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, and a surprise pick in former Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza, who is now the ZC Director of Cricket. The Harare Hurricanes also have 17 players in their camp, with impactful players such Eoin Morgan headlining the squad. Also on the team are Mohamed Nabi, Evin Lewis, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pa-than, Christopher Mpofu, Regis Chakabva, Luke Jongwe, Brandon Mavuta and Tashinga Musekiwa. The Johannesburg Buffaloes are the only team with a squad of 16 players, who include Mushfiqur Rahim, Odean Smith, Yusuf Pathan, Ravi Bopara, Usman Shinwari, Blessing Muzarabani, Welling-ton Masakadza, Wesley Madhevere, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Mohamed Hafeez and Rahul Chopra.

All the teams will add another player to each of their squads in the coming days as five cricketers will be picked from the nationwide Emerging Player programme, which is designed to provide the youngsters with a chance to break onto the big stage.

The trials for the programme begin on July 7.

Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director Givemore Makoni said the success of the player draft, which will also give young Zimbabweans an opportunity, was a step in the right direction. "This is a historic day for Zimbabwean cricket and we can't wait to open up the doors for such talented cricketers. Each of the five squads look extremely strong and I am sure the cricket on display will be of the highest order.

"And I am delighted that the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 will also give the young cricketers a boost as they will be rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world."

T Ten Global Sports Founder and Chairman Mr Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk cannot wait for the tournament to start.

"The Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10's Player Draft is a very big day for the T Ten family and Zimbabwean cricket also.

"We are very happy to see that the squads are all well balanced and quite strong, which means the tournament will be a tight one.

"We can't wait for the tournament to begin and then have some of the best cricketers from Zimbabwe and around the world entertain one and all. I would like to wish all the teams the very best as they begin preparing for the cricket festival," said Mulk.

Zim Afro T10 Squads

Durban Qalandars Asif Ali, Mohammed Amir, George Linde, Hazratullah Zazai, Tim Sifert, Sisanda Magala, Hilton Cartwright, Mirza Thahir Baig, Tayab Abbas, Craig Ervine, Tendai Chatara, Brad Evans, Clive Madande, Nick Welch, and Andre Fletcher.

Cape Town Samp Army

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shaun Williams, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Maheesh Theekshana, Sheldon Cot-trel, Karim Janat, Chamika Karunaratne, Peter Hazlogou, Matthew Breetzke, Richard Ngarava, Cephas Zhuwao, Hamilton Masakadza, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Parthiv Patel, Mohamed Irfan, and Stuart Binny.

Harare Hurricanes

Eoin Morgan, Mohamed Nabi, Evin Lewis, Robin Uthappa, Donovan Ferraira, Shahzawaz Dahani, Duan Jansen, Samit Patel, Kevin Kothegoda, Christopher Mpofu, Regis Chakabva, Luke Jongwe, Brandon Mavuta, Tashinga Musekiwa, Irfan Pathan, Khalid Shah, and S Sreesanth.

Bulawayo Braves

Sikander Raza, Taskin Ahmed, Ashton Turner, Tymal Mills, Thisara Perera, Ben McDermott, Beau Webster, Patrick Dooley, Kobe Herft, Ryan Burl, Timycen Maruma, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Faraz Akram and Mujeeb Ur Rehaman.

Johannesburg Buffaloes

Mushfiqur Rahim, Odean Smith, Tom Banton, Yusuf Pathan, Will Smeed, Noor Ahmad, Ravi Bopara, Usman Shinwari, Junior Dala, Blessing Muzarabani, Wellington Masakadza, Wesley Madhevere, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Mohamed Hafeez, and Rahul Chopra

Source - The Herald