The 2023/24 edition of the National Premier League (NPL) will be a grand affair featuring 14 teams following a decision by Zimbabwe Cricket to add four more participants in order to open up the top-flight club cricket competition to men’s teams from all the 10 provinces in the country.
The new qualification pathway will see nine teams qualify directly on sporting merit through their top provincial club championships, while the other five spots will be filled up through playoffs.
Harare Metropolitan will have four teams securing their places directly in the NPL, followed by Bulawayo Metropolitan with two guaranteed berths.
Manicaland, Masvingo, and Midlands will each have one spot through direct qualification.
The best teams from Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Matabeleland North, and Matabeleland South will have to go through NPL playoffs against clubs from the top provinces.
In the first playoff match played at Kadoma Sports Club on Sunday, Kadoma Sports Club beat Kwekwe Sports Club by 220 runs to book their place in the main tournament.
Four other playoff matches are scheduled to take place on 27 and 28 May at venues across the country.