The ManicaPost

Fungayi Munyoro Sports Correspondent
CRICKET fans in Mutare are not happy with the decision made by the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to centralise Logan Cup games as it has left them out of the action for two consecutive years.

The four-day games, which kicked off yesterday, will only be hosted by Harare.

ZC communications manager Darlington Majonga said centralising the games was meant to cut on expenses.

“We have at least two houses in Harare as ZC that can accommodate some players. Centralising games is actually cheaper for us as ZC,” said Majonga.

Fans who spoke to Post Sports said they have been denied an opportunity to watch their franchise team in action. Some said they could not afford to travel to Harare to watch the games.

Taurai Matumba said games were supposed to be spread across the country.

“It is very unfair. They should spread games across the whole country to accord everyone a chance to watch. Not everyone can travel to watch games in Harare,” he said.

Cris Mhike said very few players who play for Mountaineers were local making it difficult for them to host a match as they also needed accommodation.

He said the school system should produce enough players to feed into the franchise.

“I think Manicaland is getting a raw deal when it comes to player development. Almost 90 percent of Mountaineers players are based in Harare. Transporting them and accommodating them here in Mutare is very expensive.

“It is easier to play the games in Harare. This kills the whole idea of development in the province because we are getting players from other cities. The coach himself, Shepherd Makunura, is not from Mutare. There is need to go out in the high-density areas like Sakubva, Chikanga and Dangamvura and develop our cricket,” he said.

Junior coach Eddy Samunetsi said upcoming cricketers were going to benefit from the Logan Cup games if they were played locally.

“It was going to be nice to have our local upcoming cricketers watching these games. Our youngsters were really looking forward to the games. As fans, we would have loved to watch our local team playing at Mutare Sports Club,” he said.

Diamond FM sportscaster Tafadzwa Tichawanganga argued that ZC needed to have some games played outside  Harare.

“Zimbabwe Cricket needs to be more deliberate about ensuring the game is played outside Harare. It is disheartening that for the second season in a row we will not be able to watch any first class domestic cricket in our own backyard.

“But I feel more for the young players who will not get to watch their heroes play at Mutare Sports Club. The “Goats” have done so much to put Mutare on the domestic cricket map and it is a crying shame that they will not play in front of their home fans,” he said.

Mountaineers are the current Logan Cup champions. They have been holding on to the cup for three consecutive years.

Mountaineers started off their campaign yesterday against Tuskers at Old Hararians Sports Club and they will play until Sunday. Their second match will be against Rhinos from December 18-21 at Takashinga Sports Club.