Zimbabwe's participation in South African Franchise Cricket has today been confirmed, with the African country playing as a seventh side in both the MTN Domestic Championship and the Standard Bank Pro 20 Series.
The original plan for them to take part in the SuperSport series has been dropped after concerns about player availability and lack of input from the franchises in the decision.
The compromise, reached after agreement was found between Cricket South Africa, the six domestic franchises, and South African Cricketers' Association (SACA), means Zimbabwe will play a full part in the limited overs competitions, playing both home and away matches and scoring points for both.
Meanwhile, they will play three four-day matches in a 'SuperSport Challenge' against a South African Composite XI which will contain at least six franchise players. The matches will have first-class status with the first beginning tomorrow (Thursday November 22) in Potchefstroom.
Gerald Majola, Cricket South Africa CEO, said in a statement:
“This is in terms of a request by the International Cricket Council to provide Zimbabwe players with an opportunity to play more competitive cricket in their bid to play Test cricket again.
“The South African players, through SACA, also wish to assist Zimbabwe players in this regard and also for the participation to be beneficial to South African cricket.
“The Zimbabwe Cricket Union has welcomed this initiative, and has agreed to field Zimbabwe’s strongest team for every match.
“This new set-up will be reviewed at the end of the 2007-8 season.”
The South African Composite X1 to play against a Zimbabwe X1 in the first SuperSport Challenge match at Sedgars Park, Potchefstroom from November 22-25 is:
Benji Hector (captain)
Athenkosi Dyili (w/k)
Stiaan van Zyl
Timmy Gamade (12th man)
Coach: Lawrence Mahatlane
Physiotherapist: Lambert Fick
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