ZIMBABWE Cricket are confident the ICC Women’s Qualifier Africa 2019, which begins in Harare tomorrow, will be a world-class event after Government yesterday toured the facilities and gave the thumbs-up to their state of preparedness.
Senior officials, who included the principal director in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Benson Martins Dube, and Sports Commission director for sports and recreation development Joseph Muchechetere, yesterday hailed the facilities.
Zimbabwe will host nine countries in the Twenty20 competition that also serves largely as part of the pathway for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020.
Dube said Government was in full support of the tournament.
“I have no doubt we can always bid for major cricket tournaments at Harare Sports Club and be successful because of its pristine condition. I think it’s one of the best in Africa.
“We have also toured OH and I think they are doing the final touches.
“Otherwise, the facility is also looking very good.
“To our girls, I say we are solidly behind you. The Government is in full support of this tournament. Things are shaping up and thumbs-up to the board and management,” said Dube.
Old Hararians and Takashinga Sports Club in Highfield will host the group games starting tomorrow, with the final set for Harare Sports Club next Sunday.
The games will be free of charge.
Zimbabwe were drawn in Group A that includes Tanzania, Nigeria, Mozambique and Rwanda, while holders Uganda headline Group B which also has Kenya, Namibia and Sierra Leone.
Zimbabwe get the ball rolling against Mozambique at OH.
Most of the teams, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Mozambique arrived yesterday. Nigeria and Rwanda were expected just after midnight.
Sierra Leone were the first to arrive in Harare earlier in the week.
ZC acting managing director Givemore Makoni believes they have done enough to stage a successful tournament.
“We are more than ready, I am glad the Government has endorsed our state of preparedness. As a team, we have really prepared our girls this time around and I am confident we will qualify to the next stage,” said Makoni.
“Women’s cricket is one of the fastest growing sports in this country. There is a lot interest among the young girls and we are excited about that.
“We want to expose as many people as possible, particularly girls, to this wonderful game of cricket.
“We are sending this invitation to all Zimbabweans.
“Let’s support this event, the games will be free of charge.
“One of the reasons we took the game to Takashinga is that’s where the people are and we are looking to get good crowds during the tournament.”