As reported by Zimbabwe Cricket, the country’s first privately-owned franchise league will be a T10 tournament, and it will be formed in partnership with Mulk International, the organisation responsible for launching the Abu Dhabi T10. The Zim Afro T10 will be held in March of 2023 and will include six teams. As of the end of the 2018 season, the Abu Dhabi T10 had been played for six seasons.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani is excited to introduce a franchise-based T10 league to the country. “This powerful format is exactly what our changing, fast-paced world needs right now,” Mukuhlani said.
More than ten years after ZC’s first tentative attempt at drawing big names with the Stanbic T20, the organisation is hoping that the competition will bring in top players from around the world. Twenty international players, including Chris Gayle and Shaun Tait, participated in this competition, which was owned and organised by ZC but featured five local teams from Zimbabwe. After three seasons, Stanbic withdrew their sponsorship, and ever since then, Zimbabwe’s domestic competitions have been held with little fanfare or, on occasion, not at all.
T20 WC Super 12 performances boost ZC’s T10 tournament plans
Zimbabwean Cricket is no exception to the country’s economic troubles; the sport has stumbled through a severe debt crisis, an interim ban on its administration at the ICC, and the suspension of two of its most prominent players (Heath Streak and Brendan Taylor) for their involvement in corruption.
However, cricket appears to be on the upswing after both the men’s and women’s teams from Zimbabwe advanced to the Super 12s of the most recent T20 World Cup. The women’s team came so close to qualifying for the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2023 that it was almost a heartbreaker.
Zimbabwe has entered the T10 market in anticipation of future international matches and in response to South Africa’s announcement of an all-owned IPL T20 competition, the SA20. The tournament is expected to commence on March 29, 2023, with the participating franchises, player auction dates, fixtures, and other details to be disclosed at a later date.