Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Baines Junior Dumisani Mankunzini Winter Cricket Festival returns after a two-year sabbatical, with four schools set to compete at this year’s edition to be held later this month.
Host school, Baines Junior, Indlovu Iyanyathela, Reps and Milton Junior will compete at the tournament to be held on July 26.
Mtshingwe and Josiah Chinamano have withdrawn from the tournament to participate in a Matabeleland Cricket Board tournament to be held on the same day as the Baines competition.
Mtshingwe won the last tournament held in 2016.
Mbongeni Ncube, brother to South Africa- based former Matabeleland Tuskers leg spinner, Dumisani Mankunzini, confirmed the revival of the competition which seeks to expose youngsters to competitive cricket.
“The Baines Junior Dumisani Mankunzini Winter Cricket Festival is back.
Financial challenges led to the failure of having the 2017 and 2018 editions. This time around we’ve found a couple of partners interested in the development of cricket and that is why we are here today to present the kits to the four schools that will participate at the tournament.
“Unfortunately, the Matabeleland Board is having a similar competition on the same day as ours, so what we have decided is that the winner of the Baines competition will play the winner of the Matabeleland tournament on July 27 in a Champions of Champions clash we will sponsor and hope it becomes an annual event,” said Ncube, on the sidelines of the tournament launch held yesterday at Baines Junior.
The four schools were given kits they will use on competition day, and Ncube said they have also secured individual accolades for excelling players.
Products of the Baines Junior Dumisani Mankunzini Winter Cricket Festival, Butjilo Ncube and Collins Mukumuri who played in the tournament’s 2012 edition will officiate at the final.
Ncube turned out for Milton Junior School, while Mukumuri played for McKeurtan Primary School.