With only three days to go before the start of the second edition of the Stanbic Twenty20 domestic cricket competition, the organisers remain confident that the tournament will live up to expectations.
Expectations are high following the success of last year’s tournament which reached its climax with a sellout crowd of over 7 000 fans who graced the final between Mashonaland Eagles and Mountaineers.
Dirk Viljoen of Dominus Sport, the organisers of the tournament, said despite the threat of wet weather, everything was now in place for the tournament to run smoothly.
“Although the weather remains a worrying factor we are confident that it’s not going to affect the smooth running of the tournament.
“A lot has been done in terms of raising awareness about the competition and hopefully there will be a huge turnout like what happened at last year’s final,” Viljoen said.
Viljoen is a former national team all-rounder who played two Test matches and 53 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe.
He said he was confident that the tournament would play a role in the overall rebuilding of Zimbabwe cricket as the national team aims to re-establish itself on the world stage
Like last year, the tournament will be broadcast live on pay-per-view channels like SuperSport and Ten Sports in Asia.
Fans can look forward to some exciting action since the wicket at Harare Sports Club has recently produced a lot of runs.
“If you consider the number of viewers who will be watching the competition, there’s no better platform to market the local game to the outside world.
“This year we have also made sure that it would also be broadcast live on national television and we want to thank all our sponsors for the support they have given us,” said Viljoen.
In a development that will certainly raise the stakes among the participating teams, there are plans in place to have the winners take part in the Champions League with other top sides around the world.
“Even though last year’s tournament went on smoothly, we went a step ahead in bringing more high-profile players and plans are in place to have the winning team take part in next year’s edition of the World Twenty20 Champions League,” Viljoen added.
A place in the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 will definitely be a befitting tribute for the tournament which will also play host to some of the game’s high-profile superstars.
Legendary former West Indies star batsman Brian Lara, Lou Vincent, Ryan Sidebottom, Lance Klusener and coaches Jason Gillespie and Allan Donald will grace the local event.
Defending champions Mountaineers, Southern Rocks, Mashonaland Eagles, Mid West Rhinos and in-form Matabeleland Tuskers will take part in the event.
The last tournament was held in February and Mutare-based Mountaineers won the series after defeating Mash Eagles in the final.