BY Kevin Mapasure
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) have begun engagements that are set to culminate in Zimbabwe hosting more international events following the successful staging of the World Cup qualifiers in 2018.
Zimbabwe hosted the 2019 men’s World Cup qualifiers in Bulawayo and Harare. The matches attracted large crowds throughout the tournament.
As the ICC starts planning for the next eight-year cycle between 2023 and 2031, they have engaged ZC and the government, with proposals on some of the events that Zimbabwe can take up in the next cycle.
Yesterday, ICC chief executive officer Manu Sawhney met the ZC management as well as board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani.
Acting managing director Givemore Makoni and director of cricket Hamilton Masakadza also attended the meeting where they discussed the possibilities that are there for Zimbabwe in terms of hosting ICC events in the next cycle.
Later, the team went on to meet Sports minister Kirsty Coventry where the ICC also made proposals and highlighted the possibilities that are there for Zimbabwe.
After the first meeting that took place at the Peter Chingoka Pavillion at the Harare Sports Club, Mukuhlani said the ICC was impressed with the way Zimbabwe had staged both the men and women’s qualifiers which were hosted in Harare last year.
“The 2018 qualifiers in ICC’s view were the turning point for what is it that is possible in Zimbabwe. They saw that there is a cricket culture and there are cricket fans in Zimbabwe and they were impressed with what they saw and how we hosted the qualifiers and that will always be a reference point when we make proposals and bids for ICC events,” Mukuhlani said.
“It’s a great pleasure to have the ICC chief executive officer Manu Sawhney. The main purpose of his visit here was to discuss with us the next cycle of the ICC which is 2023 to 2031.
We were discussing the various ICC events that are going to be hosted and the proposals that the ICC have. We also discussed Zimbabwe cricket where we are so far and how things are shaping up, but mainly they were here to discuss the next cycle between 2023 and 2031 and the possibilities that are there for us to host the ICC events that include the men’s World Cup the women’s World Cup as well as the Under-19 tournaments. They will also engage government insofar as that cycle is concerned.”
He added that Zimbabwe would play a lot of cricket between this year and the next cycle. Among other tours that are lined up for this year, Zimbabwe will play Bangladesh, Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan, India, Australia and Sri Lanka in a packed calendar.
Recently, Zimbabwe hosted Sri Lanka for two Tests in Harare and they will be travelling to Bangladesh on Friday for a Test match, three one-day internationals and two T-20s.