Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Matabeleland South Cricket Association (Masca) league and school games will resume on Friday after a four-month break due to heavy rains that pounded the province.
The rains forced Masca to put on hold the league and school games that were supposed to resume after the festive holidays in January.
The 40 overs Masca league has five teams, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic, Gwanda Giants, ZRP Gwanda, Legends and Plumtree.
Masca chairman Arthur Maphosa said: “Our games have been on hold and now that the rains have stopped we are starting our programmes. We will start with the school games on Friday, March 31, with league matches starting on April 1. As it is, we’re busy working on the grounds because our groundsmen couldn’t work on the wickets while it was raining. Despite the setback, we are confident of having a successful programme and we will squeeze the games so that we finish the season at the end of May or in early June.”
He said they will play most of their league games and school matches at Plumtree High School as part of a deliberate drive to promote cricket in the province.
Last season’s matches were played at Portland Primary School in Colleen Bawn.
Masca has also set up a committee to fundraise for the rehabilitation of Ncema Cricket Valley Club.
Maphosa said the rehabilitation was likely to help in the spread of the game in the province because it was a central venue, which made it easy for travelling.
“The problem we are facing is that cricket is being played in Gwanda, Bulilima and Mangwe Districts. What we want is for the sport to spread across the province, hence our decision to have almost all the corners of the province playing the sport. Our aim is to conscientise the community and that’s why we have our coaches doing ground work at schools in the province so that we have a base for clubs. Work at Ncema Cricket Valley has started, but we will be able to use the place for our games when the 2017-18 season starts in September,” said Maphosa.
He said Masca’s intention is to have districts like Beitbridge and Matobo competing in their league.