zim cricket action.jpg

By Chengetai Ditima

 

Although the second edition of the Stanbic T20 Cricket series has come and gone, the tournament has shown itself to be an attractive brand as evidenced by the array of international stars who graced the competition, leading to the game regaining its appeal as one of the country’s most followed sport.

 

Brian Lara, an icon of the sport, Chris Harris, Nick Carter, Andrew Hall, Nick Compton, Lou Vincent and Lance Klusener are some of the big names who took part in the competition.

 

Their attendance put to shame critics who’ve always portrayed Zimbabwe as an unsafe destination for sporting events.

 

That such players, most of who are held in high esteem worldwide took part in the tournament is an endorsement that the domestic

T20 cricket competition has become a competitive and attractive brand that looks set to rival other big international tournaments.brian_lara.jpg

 

Although several international stars were on parade at Harare Sports Club, it was however, Zimbabwean – Ryan Butterworth – who stole the show with spell-binding performances for Mashonaland Eagles, in the process earning himself the Player of The Tournament Award.

 

Butteworth’s consistent performances with both bat and ball played a key role in ensuring the Mashonaland Eagles stood tall in the competition.

 

His resilience did not go unnoticed as he also received a call up to the national team that will be leaving for a tour of Bangladesh on Thursday.

 

The common hope however is that he will transfer the same form he exhibited in the T20 competition onto the international stage in the Asian sub continent.

 

Cricket is indeed slowly but surely regaining its appeal as one of the most followed games in Zimbabwe and the T20 competition is testament to this.

 

The game is attracting large crowds, and the final in particular brought together a diverse number of fans from different

backgrounds, including those from the high density areas, where the game is spreading rapidly.

 

This is a positive sign that cricket is gradually regaining its status as the most followed game after football.