ZIMBABWE director of cricket, Hamilton Masakadza, has hailed the inaugural National Premier League champions Takashinga.
The Highfield side were handed their trophy and prize money,at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Takashinga won the tournament earlier this month.
The presentation ceremony was graced by ZC chairman, Tavengwa Mukhuhlani, and acting managing director, Givemore Makoni.
Mukuhlani hailed Masakadza for coming up with various initiatives, including the NPL, which were changing the face of the game in the country.
Masakadza said this was just a start and the future could be good for the country’s second biggest sports constituency.
“The NPL was very successful and I hope we are going to have more of these tournaments in the future,” said Masakadza.
“The tournament was a great success and it gives us an opportunity to assess some players who did not have the exposure.
“Congratulations to Takashinga, for their efforts in winning the tournament, which was so competitive.
“I encourage other teams to do well in next tournaments.
“I am hopeful that we are going to have more of these tournaments in future as they give us an opportunity to nurture and unveil talent.”
Takashinga completed the inaugural season, of the elite club competition, equal on points with MidWest but claimed the title thanks to their superior head-to-head record.
Both sides won six times and each recorded two losses during the competition, leaving the result of their meeting, as the decisive factor for the championship.
Takashinga were handed US$10 000 while runners-up MidWest Rhinos walked home US$5 000 richer.
To add to their fine run, the club had captain Roy Kaia, and coach Eric Chauruka, winning Player of the tournament and Coach of The Tournament awards.
MidWest Rhinos had the best batsman in Tarisai Musakanda while Queens Sports Club provided the best bowler of the tournament in Malcom Chikowa.
Chauruka said they were looking at doing well in future tournaments.
“We are happy to have won this tournament and we want to continue bullying them so that they do not forget that we are the best club in the country.
“We are not going to sit back but we will continue working hard so that, when we resume the national tournaments, we will be ready.
“I am so happy with the character my boys showed, throughout the tournament, as they started on a high note and had some challenges along the way which we managed to navigate,” said.
Player of the tournament Kaia gave credit to his teammates for giving him the support he needed.
“I think we worked as a team and leading the guys was easy as we played for a purpose.
“The boys did well and, when we lost, we lost as a team and we did not have time to blame each other but rather encourage each other,” said Kaia.
The NPL, a 45-over national club competition involving the top teams from across Zimbabwe, was unveiled by ZC in September.
Apart from Takashinga and MidWest, the other clubs that participated in the 2020/21 campaign are Amakhosi, Queens, Rainbow Sharks, Gladiators, Harare Kings, Great Zimbabwe Patriots and Easterns.
2020/21 National Premier League Awards:
l Winners — Takashinga Patriots
l Runners-Up — MidWest
l Player of the Tournament — Roy Kaia (Takashinga Patriots)
l Batsman of the Tournament — Tarisai Musakanda (MidWest)
l Bowler of the Tournament — Malcolm Chikuwa (Gladiators)
l Coach of the Tournament — Erick Chauluka (Takashinga Patriots)