February 28, 2024

Masakadza hails ZC, UK county sides relations

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Blessing Malinganiza

Zimbabwe Cricket director of cricket, Hamilton Masakadza is optimistic that the relations between the association and English county sides will benefit local players in their preparation for international cricket.

With Zimbabwe currently playing host to English County side, Durham County Cricket Club, Masakadza has hailed the visit by the county sides in recent years.

“The partnership with the county sides has been really brilliant,” said Masakadza.
Speaking on the popular ZTN breakfast programme, Morning Rush, yesterday Masakadza said playing county sides will be key in preparing the local cricketers for international cricket.

“Aside from cricket is huge for us, it is the stepping stone, a level just below international cricket, and playing these games prepares our player for international cricket,” he said.

Durham County returned to the country for a pre-season tour for the English Vitality T20 blast.
As part of their tour, the English County side will play two three-day matches against the Zimbabwe A and then participate in the local domestic T20 competition, which begins on Sunday.

“Durham, keep coming year-in-year-out during their pre-season so this allows our boys to be exposed to slightly better competition.

“We initially had three counties lined up for this season but due to some reasons the other two did not manage to make so we are hoping to have a couple more next year and we are fortunate that Durham has accepted to stay and play in the T20,” said Masakadza.
Masakadza added that the participation of the county side in the domestic T20 competition will be important for a provincial and first-class player to have a feel of what to expect in international cricket.

“Like I said normally we have county sides coming in to play three-day matches or one-day games against Zimbabwe A but this time we have we managed to get them (Durham) to stay back which is good for us this will allow a few of the players from the provincial and first class will get an exposure to this sort of level,” said Masakdza.

Masakadza hailed the leadership of Zimbabwe Cricket for playing a critical role in its re-engagement exercise with the English Cricket Board.

“It is a big credit to the chairman and the board for starting those talks to in renewing the relations with England.

“Also credit goes out to the Managing Director for initiating these talks at international stages like the ICC meetings while our former national team coach Dave Houghton has also played a big part through his links with the county sides,” said Masakadza.

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