Sport

Kabwe Stars Win First Ever Cricket League

Kabwe Stars has emerged victorious at the first ever Betbarter Zambia Cricket league after beating Ndola Blitz at the just-ended games at Lotus Cricket Ground.

In a tightly contested game that went up to the wire, Kabwe Stars and Ndola Blitz ended up on equal runs at the end of the allocated 10 overs which required a Super over to determine the winners.

Lusaka Heats finished in third position while Kitwe Kings came out last in the inaugural tournament that ran from July 4 to 12th.

Kabwe Stars came out Tops at the end of the superover emphatically to clinch the trophy.

Godfrey Kandela of Kabwe stars was adjugded the man of the match for the final game while James Zimba of Kabwe Stars emerged the Best bowler.

Meanwhile, Connor Fletcher of Ndola Blitz bagged both best batsman and player of the tournament awards while emerging player of the tournament was awarded to Kayle Russel of the Ndola Blitz.

The final game was played behind closed doors witnessed by Ministry of Youth and Sports permanent secretary Joe Kapembwa, Zambia Professional Cricket Association (ZPCA) president Kushal Jain, National Sports Council of Zambia acting general secretary Raphael Mulenga and board member Mabvuto Ng’uni, National Olympic Committee of Zambia president Alfred Foloko, among other senior government officials.

ZPCA president Kushal Jain expressed happiness with the success of Betbarter Zambia Cricket League.

Jain said this was the first step in taking Zambia Cricket to international platform.

He also said he was very happy with the performance of all the teams.

“All the teams played superb and the results speaks how close all the matches were. This initiative of Zambia cricket league will definitely motivate more youths to join cricket. We want to develop cricket not only in Lusaka but in all the 10 provinces so that in future we have clubs from all the provinces participating in the league,” Jain said.

He thanked Betbarter, the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports for their support rendered during the games.

Jain said although Kabwe Stars emerged winner, for him it was not about a team winning but the Zambian Cricket.

He said ZPCA managed to broadcast the game in 13 countries and average expectation for each day was touching close to 10 million people.

Jain further said that this year, because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions, they only managed to have four teams participate in the league.

And Jain disclosed that next year, about six teams are expected to participate.

He said there was need to take the cricket of Zambia from the amateur level to professional level.

When asked on the way foward on Cricket in Zambia, Zain said the association had been lucky to get a call from the sponsor, Betbarter, to do a bigger level of tournament this year in the month of October and they had agreed to sponsor the whole tournament in a much bigger way than how it was done in the just ended tournament.

Jain explained that if COVID-19 restrictions would be taken off, the association would have six to eight teams and if international flights would be on, international players would take part.

And Kabwe Stars team captain Joseph Chinunga said the tournament was great.

Chinunga said although the team had a bit of challenges on the first day as it lost two games, it was his duty as a captain to encourage players to soldier on and win the game.

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