By Sports Reporter
WOMEN’S cricket in Zimbabwe is set for a major boost after the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Committee granted One Day International (ODI) and Test status to all full-member women’s cricket teams including the national side, affectionately known as the Lady Chevrons.
According to a media release, the ICC Cricket Committee, led by former Indian captain Anil Kumble, considered various current issues in the international game and presented its recommendations which were approved.
One of the major decisions was to grant ODI and Test status to all full member nations of the ICC which meant that Zimbabwe along with Bangladesh and Afghanistan were now free to play Test cricket like their male counterparts.
Thus far, only 10 teams, namely India, West Indies, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, Ireland, England, Australia, and Pakistan have had the privilege of playing Test cricket.
Test status means the Zimbabwe women will have the opportunity to test themselves regularly against the bigger teams in the women’s game.
Previously, the Mary-Anne Musona captained Lady Chevrons only had Twenty20 International (T20I).
The decision by the ICC comes at a time women’s cricket has been on a gradual rise in the country following the revamp of the domestic structure by Zimbabwe Cricket.
Local female cricketers are now receiving regular game time following the establishment of two women’s domestic competitions by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) in October last year.
ZC has been making efforts to ensure that the national women’s cricket team receives regular game time although the team’s recent series at home against Pakistan was affected by Covid-19 travel restrictions.
However, the team will be hoping to play more matches in both the limited and longer formats of the game ahead of the qualifiers for the Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
The Lady Chevrons will need to negotiate past the continental qualifiers to be hosted by neighbours Botswana in October next year in their quest for qualification to the global tournament to be hosted by South Africa.
Botswana, who will take part in qualifiers for the first time, will host that qualifier in October of 2021 with reigning African champions battling against the hosts, Cameroon, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania as well as Uganda.