The Southern Rocks was one of five Zimbabwean cricket franchises. They were a first-class cricket team, based in the Masvingo and Matabeleland South area. They played their home matches at Masvingo Sports Club in Masvingo. They ceased to play after the 2013-14 season. In their 47 first-class matches they won 3, lost 27, and drew 17.

Franchise History

Following the decline of the standard of cricket in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Cricket used a new set of teams for all the first-class, List A and the Twenty20 formats of the game. The Southern Rocks were based in Masvingo and Matabeleland South area.

Players

When the franchise was debuting in the 2009-10 Logan Cup, the team consisted of Zimbabwean international and domestic players, although some foreign internationals already started taking part, for example, Kenya's Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo. Key players included Chamu Chibhabha (captain), Erick Chauluka, rising star and batting talent Craig Ervine, spinner Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Keith Kondo, fast bowler Blessing Mahwire, wicket-keeper batsman Alester Maregwede, spinner Hilary Matanga, Odoyo, Tikolo, and rising young fast bowler Brian Vitori.

For the 2009-10 Stanbic Bank 20 Series, the Rocks made their first big signings when they purchased Hampshire County Cricket Club stalwart batsman, Sean Ervine, and former Australian cricketer Ian Harvey.

They started the 2010-11 season with a bang. In a bid to win the 2010-11 Stanbic Bank 20 Series, the Rocks signed former West Indian legend Brian Lara, (who holds the record for the two highest ever scores in Test cricket: 400* and 375), and a former English great fast bowler Ryan Sidebottom. Sean Ervine also was retained from the previous season. Lara made his Twenty20 debut and scored 65 on his debut, top-scoring with 65, and added a further 34 runs from 2 innings, before leaving citing commitments elsewhere. Nevertheless, Southern Rocks finished third in the series.

For the 2011-12 season, the only substantial overseas signings were Jon Kent of South Africa and the Kenyan Alex Obanda. The results were not so bright, with Southern Rocks finishing bottom of the group pool at the 2011-12 Stanbic Bank 20 Series and thus getting eliminated. Their coach was former English O.D.I. cricketer, Monte Lynch.

Home Ground

The Southern Rocks played their home matches in the Masvingo Sports Club, Masvingo.


References