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ICC give Zimbabwe thumbs-up in World Cup hosting

by Staff reporter
23 Nov 2021 at 05:49hrs | Views
INTERNATIONAL Cricket Council representative, Sally Higgins, is confident the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifier, currently taking place in Harare, will be a huge success.

Zimbabwe is hosting eight visiting countries for the event, which acts as the final qualifying tournament, for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2022, in New Zealand.

Higgins believes Zimbabwe has ticked all the boxes so far, with the first games having taken place, at the weekend.

She was speaking at the official welcoming ceremony, at Harare Sports Club yesterday, where President Mnangagwa was the guest of honour.

The ceremony was also attended by Youth, Sport and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, and her Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage counterpart, Kazembe Kazembe.

Sports and Recreation Commission chairman, Gerald Mlotshwa, also graced the event.

"Organising multi-team events is a huge task nowadays due to the security measures required. At the same time, the last two years have shown we need to be agile and find ways to achieve our objectives,'' she said.

"Let me emphasise here that the safety of all participants, be they the players, officials, organisers or volunteers, the ICC will leave nothing to chance.

"The past few weeks in Zimbabwe have been an example of how we all ought to come together and deliver events.

"We were extended help whenever we sought it, we have always found someone to deliver the things that we wanted. That's why we are all confident of delivering a highly successful event.''

The country has been given the thumbs up to co-host the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in 2027.

"Zimbabwe has held ICC events in the past, including the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in 2003 and the ICC World Cup Qualifier in 2018, with great success,'' said Higgins.

‘‘It's no wonder the country has been selected to co-host the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in 2027.

"This country has always been an important part of cricket, in many ways, and is integral in the growth of the game worldwide.''

Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhklani, said they were thrilled to be hosting the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier 2021. The participating teams are Ireland, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Thailand, USA, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

The biggest incentive at the nine-nation qualification tournament is the chance to play at the next World Cup.

"It's not every day that you get over 200 cricket players, among them the world's best, converging on our country for a sporting event of such magnitude and global significance,'' said Mukuhlani.

"I believe, as a nation, we must take full advantage of such events, which not only stimulate economic and tourism activities, but also create diplomatic opportunities, and lasting legacies, for the benefit of our communities.

"As Zimbabwe Cricket, we are pleased to be creating such opportunities for our country. So, when you look at these young women, you are not seeing just world-class athletes — you are looking at 200-plus tourists.

"All of them ambassadors of their respective countries, whom I have no doubt will tell their friends and families back home about how great Zimbabwe is.

‘‘About Zimbabwe's beauty! About Zimbabwean hospitality.''

He said, as ZC, they have been promoting the ‘‘Visit Zimbabwe'' tourism campaign.

"Your Excellency, as you can see, this is part of what we meant when we came to you with our ‘Visit Zimbabwe' campaign idea which you immediately endorsed and unveiled last year,'' said Mukuhlani.

"But, beyond that, we envisage closer collaboration with the Government and industry to leverage our global profile as a sport, in ways that will further enhance Zimbabwe's influence and reputation, and advance our national interests.

"Your Excellency, we are aware of your engagement and re-engagement efforts that are designed to enhance Zimbabwe's international presence and to foster political, economic and social ties with other countries.

"We, as a national sport and as your children, are fully kitted out — complete with pads, gloves and helmet — and already on the crease, playing the innings of our life to help you in our own small way."

Source - The Herald
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