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Mnangagwa to officiate at Cricket WC Qualifier launch

by Staff reporter
16 Jun 2023 at 02:48hrs | Views
THE ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier is set for official launch today with President Mnangagwa billed to welcome all the 10 participating nations at a ceremony to be held at the Harare Sports Club this afternoon.

The tournament, which gets underway this Sunday, is returning to Zimbabwe for the second time in four years, following the successful hosting of the previous 2018 edition.

Zimbabwe's Chevrons are joined for the qualifying event by Ireland, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Scotland, Sri Lanka, UAE, USA and West Indies, with only two slots up for grabs in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup set for India towards the end of the year.

The qualifying tournament, which culminates in a final on July 9 at Harare Sports Club, is a perfect opportunity to showcase Zimbabwe's passion for the game while boosting the country's profile as a tourist destination of choice.

Zimbabwe Cricket spokesperson Darlington Majonga yesterday confirmed the welcome ceremony will be held this afternoon at the ceremonial home of Zimbabwean cricket — Harare Sports Club.

He said the teams that are based in Bulawayo for their group games will be represented at the ceremony by their captains.

The teams continued with their preparations yesterday with the second and final set of warm-up fixtures that produced some big performances and statement results, as the hosts dominated Scotland by six wickets at Old Hararians.

After restricting the Scots to 163 all out Zimbabwe made easy work of their chase, reaching the target in just under half the allotted overs, finishing on 166/4 in 24.5.

Wellington Masakadza, Luke Jongwe and Sean Williams all took braces of wickets, with Tendai Chatara, Brad Evans, Ryan Burl and Sikandar Raza all taking one apiece.

West Indies, who are among the tournament favourites, also made a big statement when they thrashed UAE by 114 runs. Rovman Powell hit an outstanding 55-ball 105 as West Indies racked up 374 runs at Takashinga Cricket Club.

Former champions Sri Lanka crushed the USA by 198 runs. The Lions, who are also among the favourites, put USA to the sword, racking up a formidable 379 runs in Bulawayo before running through the American batting line-up.

Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne scored outstanding centuries, with the latter retiring on 111 and Mendis dismissed for 105.

Quickfire efforts from Charith Asalanka and Dasun Shanaka boosted the score as runs flowed late in the innings, with Asalanka's 62* coming off 37 balls and captain Shanaka hitting a 30-ball 61*.

Fiery Matheesha Pathirana stood out with the ball, taking 4/23 to help bowl USA out for 174.

Netherlands beat Ireland by two wickets in another warm up match. And, in the battle of the minnows, Nepal also emerged two-wicket victors over Oman.

The Qualifier promises some exciting competition for the Chevrons who face two-time champions West Indies, the Netherlands, Nepal and the USA in the Group A round-robin phase, which precedes the Super Six stage.

The Chevrons will play Nepal in the opening match of the tournament at Harare Sports Club on Sunday, before entertaining the Netherlands at the same venue two days later.

On June 24, Zimbabwe and the West Indies will lock horns at Harare Sports Club in what should be the biggest Group A fixture. They conclude with the USA at the same venue on June 26.

The top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six stage where they will play the sides they did not meet in the group stage.

All points won in the group stage will be carried over to the Super Six stage apart from those gained against the teams that fail to make it to the Super Six stage. The finalists will both progress to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.

Harare Sports Club and Takashinga Cricket Club in Harare and Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club in Bulawayo, will share 34 matches between them, with Harare Sports Club staging the final on July 9.

Match tickets were put on sale last week and fans can purchase their tickets to selected matches online at Tickets will also be sold at the venue gates on match-days, subject to availability.

Charges have been pegged between US$2 and US$10 to enjoy in person the four group matches involving Zimbabwe as well as all the Super Six fixtures and the final.

Spectators will be able to watch for free all the other group matches not involving the hosts.

For the group matches involving Zimbabwe as well as all the Super Six fixtures and the final at Harare Sports Club, tickets are going for US$2 (rest of ground), US$5 (grass embankment and TICSA grandstand) and US$10 (Centurion).

At Queens Sports Club, fans will pay US$2 (rest of ground) and US$5 (grandstand) to watch all the Super Six matches.

Source - The Herald