The expansion of the National Premier League (NPL) to incorporate associate provinces comes as a motivation for the upcoming cricket players to raise the standards of their game, Mashonaland Central chairman Danny Tumozo has said.

At least 14 teams will battle it out for the coveted trophy, the NPL, this season. 

These will include the associate provinces should they sail through their playoffs leg. 

"It's a good move for it shows growth within the game and aims at continuously improving the face of the NPL," Tumozo told NewsDay Sport.

"It's very important as it shows recognition to smaller provinces like ours and it also pushes us to produce good quality cricket players in line with the cricket standards that Zimbabwe Cricket requires."

Tumozo said as a serious cricketing province with players dotted across the Harare Metropolitan province, an automatic entry rather than the playoffs route would have done them good.

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"Automatic entry, that's what we would've preferred as an active associate cricket playing province as we have players playing in the Harare League, domestic league and in the U19s, but nevertheless will get to play in the playoffs so as to make sure that we prove ourselves up there. I know there is very healthy competition there."

With Harare Metropolitan providing four teams to the NPL, Mash Central gets to play against the fifth-placed team in Harare in the playoffs.

"We have seven clubs playing cricket and as the chairman together with my board will make sure that cricket is played all year round in different formats and ensure that wecreate a good environment to attract the corporate world. We need to make sure the game gets adequate funding to benefit both the players and everyone involved," Tumozo said.

"The chances are very high that we will make it into the NPL as we have the quality. It would do us good, brings out a positive energy for the investment that many involved in the game have made and helps in the growth of the game in our province."

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