THE International Cricket Council World Cup qualifiers euphoria gripped Bulawayo following the arrival of Ireland and Scotland in the city yesterday ahead of the tournament which runs from March 4 to 25.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The two teams landed at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in the afternoon aboard South African Airways airline where they were welcomed by members of the local organising committee as well as officials from the Sports ministry.
In Bulawayo, the tournament will be hosted at the Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club while matches will be played at the Harare Sports Club, Old Hararians Sports in the capital and Kwekwe Sports Club.
Scotland is in Group B with Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Nepal and Hong Kong with Ireland in Group A together with West Indies, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and the United Arab Emirates.
Group A will be based in Harare, but Ireland will play their warm-up matches in Bulawayo.
Chairman of the Bulawayo Metropolitan Cricket, who is also a member of the local organising committee Vumindaba Moyo said all was set for the qualifiers.
“The teams have arrived as you can see the pomp and fanfare. Scotland and Ireland are here and other teams have arrived in Harare. All the weeks and months of preparations have come to fruition. What is left is for the games to start on the field of play. The teams will train tomorrow (today) and Tuesday we will have warm-up games at BAC and Queens. We are asking the Bulawayo public to come and witness the games which will all be free of charge. People should come out and watch the matches that will feature top players in the game. We are urging cricket fans to come and cheer Zimbabwe on because our team will be based here in Bulawayo for the group matches,” Moyo said.
He said Zimbabwe and the other teams were expected in Bulawayo today.
“The other teams are in Harare where we are having a welcome function this evening (yesterday) and they will travel to Bulawayo tomorrow (today).
Zimbabwe will take on Nepal at Queens Sports Club on March 4 and then play Afghanistan on March 6 at the same venue.
On March 10 they clash with Hong Kong at Queens before wrapping up their group matches against Scotland at BAC on March 12.