Rhinos coach Adam Chifo rues clash of tournament fixtures and year-end exams

Zimbabwe Cricket launches new women’s domestic tournaments. © Zimbabwe Cricket Twitter

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) launched a new one-day and T20 domestic competition for women involving four teams – Eagles, Rhinos, Tuskers and Mountaineers – on Wednesday (October 14). Unfortunately, the Rhinos side will face the issue of unavailability of many of its players as the tournament schedule clashes with the year-end examinations.

The tournament is scheduled to start next week and Rhinos coach Adam Chifo is worried about the schedule clash as eight out of 12 players from the squad will be writing the exams.

“The preparations are going well except for a slight disturbance of the girls writing exams. Almost half of the squad are writing, that’s about eight to 12 of them,” Chifo was quoted as saying to Daily News.

“As you may be aware, our players are from Gweru, Kwekwe, Kadoma, Chegutu, Chinhoyi and Norton so we needed some time to get to know each other and bond as a team but I guess we will have to work with what we have.”

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Chifo, who is also the head coach of Zimbabwe, sounded optimistic about the tournament despite this hurdle and said they will draw from the experience of the players who are part of the national set up.

“We will no doubt have to rely heavily on national team players such as Jossy (Josephine Nkomo), Mary (Mary-Anne Musonda), Nomatter (Mutasa) and Ashley (Ndiraya) and expect the new players to learn quickly around them.”

Leanard Nhamburo, coach of the Harare-based Eagles side, is excited about the prospect of the domestic tournament and said all four teams are balanced with an even spread of national players.

“We are not reading too much into our competitors but just minding our own business for now. From an assessment point of view, the national players seem to have been evenly spread among all the four teams, meaning all the teams are equally strong,” Nhamburo said.

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Nhamburo added that he is pleased with the Eagles preparation and with the way they performed in the practice match against an Under-16 boys’ side.

“It’s all systems go; we are just winding up our preparations with situational games; we had a match against Rocview Cricket Academy Boys U16 and my team scored 105 for seven while chasing 152 in a T20 encounter,” he said.

Zimbabwe players Precious Manrange, Christable Chatonzwa, wicket-keeper Modester Mupachikwa and Esther Mbofana are part of the Eagles side along with allrounder Anesu Mushangwe, who is currently in Australia, are part of the Eagles side.

“What will make a huge difference is the upcoming players, your secret-weapon kind of players. So great to have this tournament is good for the girls because this is the game time they desperately need going forward,” Nhamburo concluded.