In yet another first, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has set up regional men’s and women’s competitions that will see Northerns and Southerns sides clashing across all formats of the game.
With all domestic competitions currently on hold due to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government, the regional games will be held in a bio-secure bubble and will play a crucial role in preparing the national teams for important international assignments.
The Zimbabwe senior men’s national team are set to tour Afghanistan next month for two Test matches and three T20 international games.
On the other hand, the Zimbabwe senior women’s national team – desperate for game time having last played nearly two years ago – are in need of serious preparations before they can face their Pakistan counterparts in three one-day matches and two T20s next month.
So to make up for the time lost due to the pandemic and best prepare the national teams for the international assignments, ZC has put in place plans for the regional games that are also set to become a permanent fixture on the domestic calendar.
These games will basically serve as training camps for the national sides.
Stuart Matsikenyeri has been named as the Northerns men head coach, with Eric Chauluka (assistant coach), Stanley Chioza (fielding coach), Njabulo Ncube (bowling coach), Walter Karimanzira (fitness coach) and Travor Wambe (physiotherapist) completing their technical set-up.
Southerns men will have the following in charge: Douglas Hondo (head coach), Mufaro Chiturumani (assistant coach), Shepherd Makunura (fielding coach), Walter Chawaguta (batting coach), Walter Karimanzira (fitness trainer) and Travor Wambe (physiotherapist).
The technical teams for the women’s regional sides have also been appointed.
Trevor Garwe will be the head coach at Northerns women, with Susan Kudzibatira as his assistant.
Sinikiwe Mpofu will be the head coach at Southerns women, with Trevor Phiri named as co-coach.
Anesu Mupotaringa will be the physiotherapist for both women’s teams, while the fitness trainer for the sides will be announced in due course.