Southern Rocks bounces back after 6 years

ONE of the country’s original five cricket franchises Southern Rocks has bounced back to domestic competitions six years after it was dissolved owing to financial challenges.

BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

Southern Rocks won the 40-over competition in the 2010-11 but had to be sacrificed after the ICC recommended a series of cost-cutting measures for Zimbabwe cricket including reducing the number of franchises.

Based in Masvingo, Southern Rocks will be the fifth first-class side in Zimbabwe’s 2020/21 domestic season which is scheduled to start on December 3.
The Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board made the decision to bring back Southern Rocks following a virtual meeting which was held on Wednesday.

“Southern Rocks, who last played in the elite domestic competitions in the 2013-14 season, replaces the Alistair Campbell High Performance Centre team that failed to have a new academy intake this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” ZC said in a statement.

The board also deliberated on the coaching structure for the elite provincial sides with Shepherd Makunura who has won three successive Logan Cup titles with Mountaneers given charge of Southern Rocks for the upcoming season.

“His (Makunura) replacement at Mountaineers will be announced in due course. Elsewhere, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Walter Chawaguta and Douglas Hondo will remain in charge at Eagles, Rhinos and Tuskers respectively,” ZC said.

ZC also created the positions of assistant coach-cum-team manager for the teams to compete in the domestic league.

Erick Chauluka assumes the position at Eagles with Steady Musoso at Mountaineers and Rhinos will have Mufaro Chiturumani.
Stanely Choidza and Mbekezeli Mabuza will assume the same posts at Southern Rocks and Tuskers respectively.

“The board also underlined the importance of tapping into the experience of players in the twilight of their careers by getting some veteran cricketers involved at technical level.

“Elton Chigumbura (pictured) has been appointed as player/assistant coach at Eagles, with Shingi Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Cephas Zhuwao and Njabulo Ncube taking up similar roles at

Mountaineers, Rhinos, Southern Rocks and Tuskers respectively,” the statement said.

ZC has successfully introduced the National Premier League, a national club competition which concluded at the beginning of the month, as well as two inter-provincial tournaments for women, the Women’s T20 Cup and the Fifty50 Challenge currently underway.

Follow Munyaradzi on Twitter @munyamadzokere

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