The UK cricket exodus

OVER a dozen local cricketers are set to join United Kingdom clubs as they search for action and livelihood following the conclusion of the domestic league. Initial indications are that as many as 15 players will be making the switch to the UK, in a move that is being hailed by local coaches.

The coaches believe the exposure the players will get will help improve the local game. While former captain Brendon Taylor quit international cricket for County action the local players will have to make do with action in the lower leagues.

Mashonaland Eagles bowler Trevor Garwe will play in the Premier League for Wellington Cricket Club, Chamu Chibhabha joins Harefield while Ryan Burl will be among the new faces at Sarisbury Athletic Cricket Club.

Other Eagles players whose deals are close to confirmation are all-rounder Tino Mutombodzi (Eversley) and seamer Tafadzwa Muzarawetu (Harefield).

For the Logan Cup winners Tuskers, skipper Goodwill Mhamhiyo will be playing for Cookham Dean, pace bowler Steve Chimhamiwa (Steyning), batsman Nkosana Mpofu (Marlow) and Tawanda Mupariwa will be returning to his Northern Irish club Strabane.

Mountaineers will have Innocent Kaia at Worcester Nomads, off spinner Tatenda Mufudza at North Maidenhead while batsman Charles Kunje will be in Scotland playing for Meigle.

Midwest Rhinos all –rounder Prince Masvaure will be playing for Sandford.

His team mates Mark Mbofana (Filleigh) and Tarry Musakanda (Cambridgeshire)’s deals are yet to be confirmed. Pro 50 Championship title winning coach Mufaro Chiturumani of Mash Eagles believes the exodus will translate into a long term benefit for Zimbabwe since the next ICC Cricket World Cup will be in England.

“Looking at it, it could be a blessing for our national team. If some of these players going to England make it to the next World Cup, they will be familiar with the conditions,” said Chiturumani. “English players also come to Zimbabwe or go to play in Australia, so why can’t our own players play there?

“It’s a good thing for the players, it’s better than just sitting at home during the off season.

“Being a foreign player is not an easy thing too, so they will become better players.”

Meanwhile, Tuskers coach Wayne James has reminded the players going abroad to be good ambassadors on and off the field of play.

“If one aspires to be more than a club cricketer, this is good exposure. It is absolutely very good for our local game and it’s not something to be taken lightly also, the reputation of Zimbabwe is at stake.

“So it’s important for players to behave and understand that there will be there to play cricket,” he said.

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