Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE Cricket on Wednesday launched two new domestic competitions for women scheduled to begin this month.

Four provincial women’s teams, Eagles, Mountaineers, Rhinos and Tuskers will be fighting for supremacy in the newly established 50-over and Twenty20 competitions.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony held at Harare Sports Club, ZC Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said his belief is that the two tournaments will give a fresh momentum to his board’s attempts to grow and strengthen women’s cricket throughout the country.

Over the past five years, ZC has made significant strides in women’s cricket, including, for the first time in the history of the game in Zimbabwe, giving national contracts to women players and offering allowances to non-contracted women players.

“Today, we are going a gear higher and we will not stop until our women’s team is right among the best in the world. Yes, we have been conquering Africa for the past few years but we have to get the basics right to ensure we continue progressing,’’ Mukuhlani said.

He believes that for ZC to expand the pool of players and ensure continuity there is need for an efficient and viable domestic system.

“For us as ZC to develop a larger pool of female cricket players and ensure the future sustainability of the game at the highest level, we need a healthy, functional and competitive domestic system. It is therefore my honour to unveil not one but two women’s competitions that are designed to ensure exactly that,’’ he said.

Mukuhlani said it was his hope that the women’s one-day and T20 inter-provincial tournaments will help not only with competitive game time for Zimbabwe’s international players who are all involved but will also serve as a platform to discover and develop young talent.

“I believe our duty as ZC is to ensure that the structures are in place that will help make a positive difference, that will help give future Zimbabwe teams the best possible chance, and that is what we fully intend to do.”

Apart from the unveiling of the two trophies, the event also saw a representative of kit maker Ihsan handing over to the ZC chairman the shirts that will be used by the four women’s teams in the domestic [email protected]_29