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Harare based Zimbabwe Cricket neglecting Bulawayo Athletic Club on purpose?

by Staff reporter
04 Jun 2023 at 03:32hrs | Views
A SIMMERING war between the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) is heating up with allegations that the cricket mother body released limited funding for the makeover and takeover of the cricket facility during the ICC World Cup qualifiers.

Bulawayo is set to host the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers at the Queens Sports Club and BAC from 18 June to 9 July.

Ten international teams are set to converge on Zimbabwe for the ICC World Cup qualifiers, with some matches to be played in Harare. Five countries will be in Bulawayo.

Renovations at facilities in Bulawayo and Harare are already underway in preparation for the qualifiers. Cricket facilities in Bulawayo are Queens Sports Club and BAC.

At BAC, Sunday News Sports last week observed that a media room was under construction. The three-room structure is expected to be complete before the start of the tournament. According to a BAC insider, ZC will take complete control of the venue for the duration of the qualifiers.

"International teams such as the USA, Scotland and Sri Lanka will be in Bulawayo so the level of security at Queens Sports Club and BAC will be very high, which means the two facilities will be under total control of Zimbabwe Cricket.

"In order to compensate the tenants who are housed at the venues such as the bar and restaurant for loss of revenue, ZC undertook to give BAC funds for that purpose.

What baffles us, however, is the amount ZC wants to give us. US$2 000 is just too little. We have tried to seek an audience with ZC officials to no avail," said the source.

On 26 April 2023, Nicholas Singo, who is the general manager of both the Bulawayo Metropolitan Cricket Association (BMCA) and Tuskers wrote to BAC informing them of impending renovations at the facility.

"Various contractors will be engaged as of 1st of May 2023 to carry out the following renovations and developments.

1. Painting of the walls inside and outside of the cricket facilities including pathways leading to them.

2. Building of an office block on the eastern side of the cricket field, adjacent to the old tennis court.

Upon completion of the event, the office block will be a legacy of the club and can be used by the board, administration or its affiliates. The building plan will be shared once the architecture is done with the designs.

3. Security gates around the stadium, which will serve as entry and exit points will be given a facelift and enhance security measures. 4. Playing nets will be renovated to acceptable international standards.

5. Permanently fixed camera run out poles will be erected to enable a smooth broadcasting of the matches," wrote Singo.

When contacted by this publication Singo said the letter was authentic. However, most of the proposed renovations and developments have been abandoned.

Sunday News Sports gleaned another piece of correspondence that lists renovations that ZC will now carry out at BAC.

The list of repairs is as follows. "Plumbing: sinks need repairs, toilet system needs replacement.  Electricals: lights and sockets need repairs and a geyser must be installed.

Painting: Floors need a new coat, inside and outside walls need a new coat. Roof and carpentry: asbestos replacements, ceiling needs repairs, doors need new handles."

When asked why ZC has abandoned the initial list of renovations and developments, Singo referred the questions to the managing director Givemore Makoni and the director of cricket Hamilton Masakadza.

Questions sent to both Makoni and Masakadza earlier in the week had not been responded to at the time of going to print.

"My bosses have seen the questions that you sent and they are in a better position to respond," said Singo.

"Future generations must benefit from the legacy of hosting such a major tournament and we were excited when ZC said they would build an office block among other major developments.

Now we are told the only major development is the media room, we are still baffled why ZC decided to abandon the major works they had initially promised," added a BAC-affiliated source.

Source - The Sunday News