Southern Rocks bounce back as fifth first-class side

Southern Rocks have bounced back as the fifth first-class team ahead of the start of Zimbabwe’s 2020/21 domestic season on 3 December. This was confirmed by the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) Board during its virtual meeting held on Wednesday.

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

During the meeting, the Board also confirmed the coaching structure for the elite provincial sides. This sees Shepherd Makunura, who was in charge of Mountaineers, moving to Southern Rocks as their coach. His 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.

The provincial sides will have the following serving as assistant coaches-cum-team managers: Erick Chauluka (Eagles), Steady Musoso (Mountaineers), Mufaro Chiturumani (Rhinos), Stanley Chioza (Southern Rocks ) and Mbekezeli Mabuza (Tuskers).

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 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.

Meanwhile, the Board has commended the ZC management for introducing and successfully running the National Premier League, a national club competition, as well as two inter-provincial tournaments for women, the Women’s T20 Cup and the Fifty50 Challenge.