Dar es Salaam. The eagerly awaited Advanced Cricket League (APL) gets underway today with exciting match-up on the card.
The reigning champions, Twiga Stars, will be looking to stamp their authority from the outset when they begin the defence of their title with a date against never-say-dive Maxx Changers this noon.
The Twiga Stars have been training for a long time and have declared their readiness to successfully defend the title.
This edition’s matches will be played at the University of Dar as Salaam grounds. After the opening match, St. Gobain Strikers, one of the tournament’s favourites, will lock horns with stubborn Veecom Warriors in a match that is expected to draw hordes of fans.
St. Goblin will have to play more intelligently to make a winning start, for they will be playing the second match in the evening against Maxx Changers.
The annual event will see foreign cricketers from England, Pakistan, South Africa and Zimbabwe play in different local teams.
Tanzania Cricket Association (TCA) chief executive officer, Zulfikar Rehemtullah expressed his happiness following the arrival of the foreign cricketers, saying they will once again help spice up the tournament.
Rehemtullah disclosed that 12 foreign cricketers were already in the country for the tournament, adding that they hail from four cricket-playing countries.
“We have four teams that will compete at the APL. We are delighted that the players we invited are already in town,” said the TCA boss.
“We have 12 invitees, so every team will have three of them. It’s our hope that the locals will learn a lot from them during the three-day event.”
He said each team will comprise 11 local players as the target to give them more experience ahead of ICC-organised championships later in the year.
National team players have also been dispatched into the four teams as they prepare for the ICC-ACA Africa T20 tournament, which will take place in South Africa next month. “It’s out hope that this tournament will help shape out national team players. They have a tricky assignment in South Africa in April, so we have been insisting that they take full advantage of this event,” he said.