Ceylon Lions against newly promoted side Tornado Bee will bowl off this year’s National Men’s 50 Over League on Saturday at Lugogo Cricket Oval.
The two sides will get the new season rolling, but for the first time since their maiden league appearance in 2014, Aziz Damani will take no part in the competition.
Damani had until last year won five successive league titles, but they have withdrawn from the league citing ‘unfavourable fixture schedule’.
Not only has the Aziz Damani management withdrawn Damani, it has pulled out all its other clubs including Aziz Damani Development- winners of the league last year, Aziz Damani Ismaily who earned promotion to top flight last year and their Women’s side Aziz Damani.
This simply means that the Men’s division will not have a defending champion as a competitor. It also means that the league will have a different winner that’s not Damani for the first time in seven years.
Ceylon Lions will feel they have the chance to set pace. The side finished fourth with 9 points last season, but with a returnee on the opening day as their opponents, they will fancy their chances.
The other Div one game on match day one will pit Wanderers against Nyakasura. Both sides survived relegation by a whisker last year, but they get their campaign started on Sunday at the same ground.
Both will be hoping to get their season on a good note as they seek to avoid the situation they were in last year.
Wanderers however, start life without their captain Davis Karashani who announced his retirement from cricket a fortnight ago. A huge loss it is for them, but they will nonetheless hope for a better finish this year.
Div two will also bowl off on the same weekend. It has two games on the menu including Jinja SS against JAAC on Saturday at the Jinja Cricket Oval and Avengers (who were one of the teams that were demoted from Div 1 last year) against Budo at Buddo ground on Sunday.