SOUTHERN Rocks will mark their return to Zimbabwe’s first class cricket competition when they host Tuskers in a Logan Cup match at the Harare Sports Club starting this morning.
Rocks had a bye when the four-day competition began last week.
On paper, their squad looks competitive as they have in their ranks a fine mixture of youth and experience. The side is led by Richmond Mutumbami, who has 85 first class matches under his belt and six Test matches for Zimbabwe.
The side will be coached by record-breaking coach Shepherd Makunura, who won three Logan Cup titles with Mountaineers before he was moved to the Masvingo-based franchise this season.
They also have national team players Sikandar Raza, Roy Kaia, Cephas Zhuwao, Tendai Chisoro and paceman Blessing Muzarabani, who returned home recently from a stint with English county cricket side, Northamptonshire.
Rocks will be hoping to get the best out of their side which has some interesting talents like Andre Odendaal, Tafadzwa Tsiga, William Mashinge, Brian Mudzinganyama and ex-Zimbabwe Under-19 top order batsman Tadiwa Marumani.
They also have in their fold overseas players Shane Snater and Ben Curran who are on the books on English county sides Essex and Northamptonshire respectively.
Southern Rocks last played in the elite domestic competitions in the 2013-14 season. They have returned as replacement for the Alistair Campbell’s High Performance Centre team that failed to have a new academy intake this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is also an emotional return for Raza and Kaia who once had a stint with the side a few years back. However, the Rocks franchise was disbanded six years ago as part of a series of cost-cutting measures for Zimbabwe Cricket recommended by the International Cricket Council.
Their opponents, Tuskers, will be hoping for better weather conditions after their opening match against Rhinos was affected by the wet weather before the match was declared a draw.
Eagles, who won against Mountaineers by six wickets despite the rain disruptions, will be in action again when they face Rhinos at Old Hararians.
Rhinos v Eagles (Old Hararians Sports Club)
Rocks v Tuskers (Harare Sports Club).