Zimbabwe’s first-class competition, the Logan Cup, is set to get underway this Wednesday.
Mountaineers will face Eagles at Harare Sports Club, while Tuskers will be taking on Rhinos at Old Hararians Sports Club in the first round of the four-day competition scheduled for 9-12 December.
Southern Rocks, back in top-flight domestic cricket for the first time since the 2013/14 season, will be on a bye and will only get into action against Tuskers next week at Harare Sports Club.
That next round of fixtures, pencilled in for 15-18 December, will also see Rhinos and Eagles tussling it out at Old Hararians in the other match to be played before the Christmas break.
Play is scheduled to start at 1000 hours.
All Logan Cup matches will be played at venues in Harare in a bio-secure bubble set up by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) in an effort to greatly minimise the risk of players and support staff contracting or spreading COVID-19.
Up to 100 players and support staffers were this week tested for the coronavirus before they checked in into strictly controlled accommodation facilities in the capital on Tuesday afternoon.
The bio-secure bubble is covering the teams’ accommodation, practice and match venues as well as transport.
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced ZC to annul the 2019/20 season with no winner of any of the top competitions being declared, the massively anticipated new season is expected to be a thrilling campaign.
A couple of overseas-based players are set to feature in the first-class competition.
Southern Rocks have signed up Shane Snater and Ben Curran who are on the books on English county sides Essex and Northamptonshire respectively.
Leicestershire batsman Nick Welch will turn out for Mountaineers.
Oskar Kolk and Brad Evans, who have both been involved in county cricket with Cardiff MCCU, have been included in the Eagles squad together with Tanaka Chivanga who has been doing well on the South Africa club scene.
Apart from the drafting in of the foreign-based talent, the 2020/21 domestic cricket season has also seen a movement of players between the provincial teams.
Zimbabwe internationals Blessing Muzarabani, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chisoro, Richmond Mutumbami, Brian Mudzinganyama and Cephas Zhuwao will form the nucleus of the Southern Rocks side alongside former Mountaineers players Roy Kaia, Innocent Kaia and William Mashinge.
PJ Moor has left Rhinos for Tuskers, with Chris Mpofu and Charles Kunje moving in the other direction.
Brendan Taylor, who was with the Alistair Campbell High Performance Centre team last season, is now back in the Rhinos colours.
All teams have also included in their squads former national Under-19 players, with the most recent captain Dion Myers (Mountaineers), Gareth Chirawu (Eagles), Tadiwanashe Nyangani (Eagles), Tadiwanashe Marumani (Southern Rocks), Privilege Chesa (Southern Rocks) and Nkosilathi Nungu (Southern Rocks) all set to make their first-class bow.
Players who were outstanding in the recent National Premier League campaign have also been rewarded, with Adre Odendaal and Gabriel Jaya of Great Zimbabwe Patriots getting a chance to prove themselves at a higher level with Southern Rocks, while Gladiators bowler Malcolm Chikuwa has earned himself a spot in the Eagles squad.
2020/21 ZIMBABWE DOMESTIC SEASON SQUADS:
Chamu Chibhabha (captain), Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wessly Madhevere, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Kudzai Maunze, Regis Chakabva, Tinashe Nenhunzi, Rodney Mupfudza, Gareth Chirawu, Faraz Akram, Brad Evans, Tapiwa Mufudza, Tadiwanashe Nyangani, Keith Jaure, Cuthbert Musoko, Daniel Jakiel, Tanaka Chivanga, Tatenda Chikuni, Oskar Kolk, Malcolm Chikuwa, Kuda Munyede, Ashley Mufandauya, Brandon Timoni, Brighton Zhawi
Kevin Kasuza (captain), Victor Nyauchi, Kudzai Sauramba, Donald Tiripano, Tendai Chatara, Timycen Maruma, Tony Munyonga, Wellington Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, John Masara, Clive Chitumba, Tinashe Muchawaya, Dion Myers, Gary Chirimuuta, Joylord Gumbie, Baxon Gopito, Tinashe Chimbambo, Tanya Kagumba, Brighton Chapungu, Tinashe Chiora, Spencer Magodo, Frank Mazvita, Definite Mawadzi, Vincent Masekesa, Shadreck Shawarira, Nick Welch, Hendricks Macheke, Akshy Patel, Clive Chiposi, Munashe Chipara, Prosper Mugeri
Tarisai Musakanda (captain), Brandon Mavuta, Carl Mumba, Prince Masvaure, Nyasha Mayavo, Remembrance Nyathi, Trevor Chibvongodze, Takudzwaishe Kaitano, Prince Masvaure, Nqobile Sibanda, Mthulisi Tshuma, Elson Chikowero, Tafara Chingwara, Ronald Masocha, Kudakwashe Macheka, Davis Murwendo, Joshua Mahwire, Jabulisa Tshuma, Wallace Mubaiwa, Manson Chikowero, Tashinga Musekiwa, Trevor Gwandu, Neville Madziva, Walter Matau, Christopher Masike, Brendan Taylor, Ryan Burl, Charles Kunje, Christopher Mpofu, Johnathan Campbell
Richmond Mutumbani (captain), Blessing Muzarabani, Sikandar Raza, Cephas Zhuwao, Roy Kaia, Innocent Kaia, Brian Mudzinganyama, Patrick Mambo, Andre Odendaal, Tafadzwa Tsiga, Tendai Chisoro, William Mashinge, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Trevor Mutsamba, Shane Snater, Privilege Chesa, Nkosilathi Nungu, Daniel Hondo, Ben Curran, Takonda, Gabriel Jaya, Sydney Murombo, Costa Zhou, Alistair Frost
Brian Chari (captain), Sean Williams, Peter Joseph Moor, Craig Ervine, John Nyumbu, Ainsley Ndlovu, Ernest Masuku, Luke Jongwe, Sheunopa Musekwa, Charlton Tshuma, Stephen Chimhamhiwa, Bright Phiri, Clive Madande, Cunningham Ncube, Aarsh Jha, Tanunurwa Makoni, Milton Shumba, Arnold Shara, Nkosana Mpofu, Tanatswa Bechani, Allan Chigoma, Thabo Mboyi, Thamsanqa Nunu, Prince Kaunda, Dalubuhle Mboyi, Panashe Maposa, Tanaka Mutomba, Talent Dzikiti, Mpokuhle Dube, Thembelani Ncube, Admire Mupembe