Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and Pakistan Super League giants Lahore Qalandars have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at bolstering the growth and development of cricket in Zimbabwe.
The agreement will see eight young Zimbabwean cricketers going to Pakistan for a four-month player development programme at the franchise’s high performance centre in Lahore, starting on 1 September.
Under the terms of the MoU, the Qalandars will reciprocate by sending five Pakistani fast bowlers – with bowling speeds of 140-plus kilometres per hour – to play domestic cricket in Zimbabwe.
“As ZC, we are very excited about this partnership,” ZC Managing Director Mr Givemore Makoni said after signing the MoU at a media conference held at Harare Sports Club on Friday.
The eight players who are going to Pakistan were selected during a nationwide talent hunt conducted by the Qalandars for the inaugural edition of the Zim Afro T10 tournament that comes to an end with the final slated for Harare Sports Club this Saturday.
“The guys that are going to spend time in Pakistan will be there for four months being fine-tuned at the highest institute of cricket learning where their talent is going to be polished so that they can compete at the highest level,” Mr Makoni said.
“At the same time, Lahore Qalandars will second five fast bowlers to our domestic competition – these are genuine quick bowlers that will be bowling around 140km per hour,” he added.
“If you followed the (World Cup) qualifiers you would have noticed that we succumbed to express bowling in our game against Scotland and now we will leave no stone unturned to make sure that we have that calibre of fast bowlers in our setup.
“In terms of our cricket, we have now gone a gear up and focus and emphasis is now on high performance cricket.
“So we are very grateful to Mr Rana who has opened his doors for us to ensure ZC develops and grows and will produce genuine talent that can go on to perform at the highest level.”
Lahore Qalandars Chief Executive Officer Mr Atif Rana said: “It’s an honour for us that Zimbabwe Cricket has trusted us with the confidence that we can help them out in developing their players.
“The facilities over there and the dedication and commitment from our coaching staff is commendable and I think that we have that system that we can revive Zimbabwe cricket.
“Thank you once again for giving us this opportunity and this partnership will go a long way.”
The following players have been selected for the four-month developmental programme at the Qalandars High Performance Centre in Lahore: Tinotenda Maposa, Tawanda Maposa, Tanunurwa Makoni, Marshal Takodza, Brighton Phiri, Lennox Chando, Davis Marwendo and Alex Falao.