The International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup Trophy wound up its maiden visit to Zimbabwe yesterday as it continues on its global tour with the next destination being the United Arab Emirates.
SENIOR SPORTS REPORTER
The trophy was paraded at the Harare Sports Club yesterday with some cricket fans taking the opportunity for photo moments with the 11-kilo piece of glittering silverware.
Sport deputy minister Tabeth Kanengoni graced the occasion along with with Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni.
Both paid tribute to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) for putting the country on the international map.
Kanengoni implored the national cricket team to intensify its preparations so that they could perform at optimum levels in New Zealand and Australia where the 2015 global showcase will be held.
“The trophy is here and it will be taken to a couple of other countries before it arrives in Melbourne on November 6,” Kanengoni said.
“This only means the tournament is close by and our team needs to step up its preparations so that they can go out there and do us proud. We want to thank ZC for bringing this trophy here and we want to share our gratitude to them for taking the trophy to the Victoria Falls where they promoted our tourism. We hope that after ZC’s success in hosting the triangular series, Caf can give us the right to host the 2017 Afcon tournament.”
After its next destination of United Arab Emirates, the trophy will be taken to Barbados and Jamaica ahead its trip to Australia.
Mayor Manyenyeni said the arrival of the trophy in Harare would boost the city’s profile.
“We are glad that the trophy has been brought to Harare and it will boost the profile of our city,” Manyenyeni said.
“We are grateful to ZC for that. To some of us who follow the game, the arrival of the trophy reminds us that the World Cup is around the corner.”
Zimbabwe has been placed in Group B together with India, Pakistan, West Indies, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and South Africa.
The top four teams qualify for the Super Eight phase. Zimbabwe will play their first match against South Africa on February 15.