BY Sports Reporter
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has awarded Zimbabwe rights to host the women’s World T-20 qualifiers for the Africa region set to run from May 5 to 13 this year.
Eight other nations will converge in Harare to join the hosts in a fight for the two slots to progress to the next stage of the qualifiers.
Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Namibia and Tanzania will join Zimbabwe in matches that will be played at three venues, including Harare Sports Club, Takashinga Cricket Ground as well as Old Hararians.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) acting managing director, Givemore Makoni, made the announcement at a Press conference yesterday where he said his organisation was working hard to make sure that the tournament will be just as big and exciting as the men’s ICC World Cup qualifiers that were hosted in Bulawayo and Harare last year.
Having failed to qualify for the last edition, Zimbabwe will be looking to make the most of playing at home and earn a ticket to the final stage of the qualifiers.
Makoni said that ZC was privileged to have been given the hosting rights by the ICC.
“We are privileged to have been given the rights to host the women’s T-20 Africa Region World Cup qualifiers, having hosted the men’s World Cup qualifiers last year,” he said. “This will give us another opportunity, not only to showcase the Zimbabweans’ passion for cricket, but also the warmth of our people as well as the breathtaking beauty of our country.
“We hosted the men’s qualifiers last year and we have the facilities and equipment in place to successfully host the women’s tournament. The hosting of this tournament will also help with the growth of women’s cricket in the country.”
He added that the ZC were confident the team would qualify because they had put together a good preparatory schedule that will see the team travel to Uganda for a tri-series against the hosts and Kenya.
National women’s team captain Mary-Anne Musonda said the team is confident they will go through to the next stage.
“What we want is to play as many games as possible to prepare for the qualifiers and that is something we are trying to do. We are going to Uganda for the tri-series and back home, we will be playing every weekend.”
She added that the team will be under pressure to qualify this time around, considering that they will be playing at home.