Pro50 Championship

Full Current Name: Pro50 Championship
Tournament Country: Zimbabwe
Tournament Administrator: Cricket Zimbabwe (ZC)
Cricket Forms: Limited Overs
Current Champion: Mountaineers
Nearest Tournament: 9 October 2022 - 30 October 2022
Format Tournament: Round-robin
Numbers Of Team: 5
Pro50 Championship

Pro50 Championship: all about the ODI tournament

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Pro50 Championship

The Pro50 Championship is one of the key List A cricket tournaments in Zimbabwe. Over the years of development (from 2002 to the present day), the competition has had different names, including Faithwear Metbank One-Day Competition, Metbank Pro40 Championship, Faithwear Inter-Provincial Tournament and Coca-Cola Metbank Pro50 Championship. It’s time to get acquainted with the tournament in more detail and find out what changes the championship has experienced over the years of its existence.

Pro50 Championship: tournament rules

The Pro50 Championship operates according to the classic round-robin system with the participation of five teams, which include:

For a victory with a bonus, the team receives 3 points, for a normal victory – 2 points, for a draw-1 point. No points are awarded for a loss.

If the teams score an equal number of points, the winner of the Pro50 Championship title is determined as follows:

  1. First of all, preference is given to the team with the most wins.
  2. If both teams have an equal number of titles, the victory is given to the club that scored the most bonus points during the tournament.
  3. If the above parameter is the same for two or more teams, the victory is given to the club with the highest net running speed.

Mashonaland Eagles is considered the most successful team during the existence of the tournament. During the participation in the Pro50 Championship, the club collected five titles of the winner.

Pro50 Championship: tournament rules

Pro50 Championship: the origin of the tournament

The start of the Pro50 Championship tournament was laid in 2002. At that time, the competition was known as the Faithwear Inter-Clothing Tournament or the Faithwear Inter-Provincial One-Day Series. Four teams participated in the championship (before the reorganization of cricket in Zimbabwe):

  • Mashonaland;
  • Manicaland;
  • Matabeleland;
  • Midlands.

The winners of the season were the players from Mashonaland. However, the result of the competition at that time was quite predictable since the team included the legendary brothers Andy and Grant Flower.

Pro50 Championship: increasing the number of teams

Since the foundation of the Pro50 Championship, the Mashonaland team has literally captured the tournament, winning two seasons in a row thanks to a powerful squad. In 2004-2005, Namibia was added to the participating teams, which brought variety to the course of the game. According to the competition results, the newcomers took second place, losing the lead to Matabeleland.

Interestingly, in the 2004-2005 season, the two-time winners of the Mashonaland tournament significantly lost their positions. The reason for the failure was the departure of the Flower brothers from the team, who over the previous years brought the club victories and became the best scorers of the tournament.

Pro50 Championship: 2005-2006 season

The 2005-2006 season was the final in the history of the Pro50 Championship when the traditional composition of teams took part in the tournament. The participating clubs of the championship were joined by players from Masvingo, who managed to repeat last year’s success of Namibia and win second place.

Matabeleland managed to retain the title won last season. As for the first winners of the tournament – Mashonaland, the team managed to get to fourth place, showing better results than in the 2004-2005 season, but the club was very far from the leading position.

Pro50 Championship: 2006-2007 season

The 2006-2007 season was a new one, but not the most pleasantly memorable event in the history of the Pro50 Championship. Firstly, it was at this time that the updated team composition participated in the tournament, which included:

  • Centrals;
  • Easterns;
  • Northerns;
  • Southerns;
  • Westerns.

Secondly, at that time, the quality of the game was significantly lower – the top players participated in the World Cup, leaving second-level cricketers in the teams. The absence of famous athletes made the season not the most memorable, and the results were far from the most outstanding.

Pro50 Championship: the origin of the tournament

Pro50 Championship: a modern look at the tournament

After two seasons of frivolous play with low results, the Faithwear series decided to look at the national cricket in Zimbabwe from a different angle. So, in the 2008-2009 season, the Southerners were excluded from the tournament. It seemed to the competition organizers that reducing the participants to four teams would improve the quality of the game due to competition. Curiously, the expectations were fully justified.

So, some teams decided to replenish their ranks with strong former Southern players, which positively impacted the results. Also, in the 2008-2009 season, Mark Vermeulen returned to the Pro50 Championship, which significantly influenced the popularization of the tournament and the teams’ level of play.

By the 2011-2021 season, the Pro50 gained considerable popularity and attracted the attention of sponsors, one of which was the well-known brand of soft drinks Coca-Cola. It was then that the tournament received another name-Coca-Cola Metbank Pro50 Championship.

Over the years, the development of the Pro50 has affected many changes in the composition of the participating teams, the championship managed to survive a crisis, and once it was canceled – in the 2019-2020 season, Zimbabwe Cricket canceled the tournament due to a pandemic, the winner was not announced. Nevertheless, today the competitions are popular, and the matches are watched not only by local residents, but also by cricket fans from around the world.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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