NEWLY appointed Mountaineers coach Shepherd Makunura says his team’s main priority this season is to retain the country’s premier first class tournament, the Logan Cup.
Mountaineers had a memorable season last year, claiming two trophies – the Logan Cup and the Pro50 Championship.
Makunura, who took over from Gary Brent at the Mutare-based franchise during the pre-season said while they
were aiming to do well in all competitions, their main priority was to defend the Logan Cup title.
“Obviously we would want to do well in all competitions but our main priority is to retain the Logan Cup title. It’s no secret that the Logan Cup is the most prestigious competition on the domestic calendar and we would want to make sure it remains in our trophy cabinet,” Makunura said.
Matabeleland Tuskers, who won three consecutive titles since the 2010-2011 season are the only team to defend the Logan Cup title since the start of the franchise-era before Mountaineers ended their stranglehold last season.
The former coach at the now defunct Southern Rocks franchise said he had settled well in his new role and was confident his charges would do well as they had retained most of their players.
“I think I’ve managed to settle well in my new role at Mountaineers mainly because I’ve worked with most of the players at the franchise at one time or another during their careers,” he said.
“I’m confident we will do well this season as we have managed to retain most of the players who were part of the squad that dominated domestic cricket last season.”
Mountaineers start the campaign with a tricky away assignment to Matabeleland Tuskers at Queens Sports Club where the two rivals meet in a Pro50 Championship match on Sunday before clashing in the opening round of the Logan Cup at the same venue two days later.
Makunura acknowledged the threat posed by Tuskers in their opening matches.
“Our first match will not be easy at all, Tuskers are a very god side and they have made some very god signings in Brian Vitori, Luke Jongwe and Richmond Mutumbami. They are a tough side to beat in their own backyard and it will obviously be a tough match but I have confidence in the ability of my players,” he said.
Meanwhile in the other match Mashonaland Eagles host Mid-West Rhinos in a Pro50 Championship at Old Hararians on Sunday before the two teams meet in the first round of the Logan Cup, two days later.