Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has put back the start of the 2020/21 Logan Cup contest by a week to allow for more time to finalise the logistics for a bio-secure bubble for the first-class competition.
The four-day tournament had initially been scheduled to begin on Thursday this week but it will now get underway on 9 December, with Mountaineers facing Eagles while Tuskers will be taking on Rhinos in the first games.
Southern Rocks, back in the elite domestic competitions for the first time since the 2013/14 season, will be on a bye and will only get into action against Tuskers in the next round of Logan Cup fixtures scheduled for 15-18 December that will also see Rhinos and Eagles tussling it out in the other match before the Christmas break.
All matches will be played at venues in Harare.
In another first for local sport, ZC has set up a bio-secure bubble – which refers to an environment cut off from the outside world so as to greatly minimise the risk of players and support staff contracting COVID-19 – in Harare for the five first-class teams.
This will see up to 100 players and support staff first getting tested for the coronavirus before they can check into strictly controlled accommodation facilities.
The bubble will cover the teams’ accommodation, practice and match venues as well as transport.
Accordingly, all those in the bubble will not be permitted to have access to families, visitors, friends and relatives for the duration of the seclusion period.
Apart from being expected to strictly adhere to all COVID-19 protocols such as sanitisation and social distancing, all individuals within the bubble will be monitored daily through temperature and symptom checks.
The health and well-being of players and staff remains the highest priority at ZC and the organisation will continue to adhere to Government health guidelines in order to curb the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, the six players and a coach at local cricket clubs who returned positive COVID-19 results last month have all since returned to duty following their recovery, giving ZC a clean bill of health ahead of the start of the 2020/21 domestic season.