The underdogs mauled Asian cricketing giants India and Sri Lanka in the recently concluded tri-nation series in Zimbabwe. Along with that, Zimbabwe Cricket ventured into the media once again when it opposed former Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s candidature for the ICC’s vice-presidency.
It would not be wrong to call Zimbabwe as one of the newest entrants to competitive cricket. Zimbabwe started producing quality cricketers in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, which enabled ZC to get the coveted test status from the ICC. However, political mayhem in the country regrettably affected the country’s cricket to a large extent. Currently, Zimbabwe’s cricket team is in an alarming state with their test status suspended.
The 2010 tri-series involving hosts’ Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and India marked the return of quality cricket to Zimbabwe after a long time. Despite the adverse conditions, cricket is revered in the country. Along with that, Zimbabwe’s cricket grounds have witnessed many historical cricketing events. It is also home to some of the greatest performances by star players like Andy Flower, Heath Streak and Duncan Fletcher.
Zimbabwe Cricket has once again started focusing on the deplorable state of the country’s cricket and its facilities. The construction of a new cricket ground near the iconic Victoria Falls is a step taken by ZC to improve the falling standards of cricket in the country. For starters, Victoria Falls is considered as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
The venue that will be constructed according to Test standards will be the first one outside Bulawayo and Harare. According to plans formulated by Zimbabwe Cricket, the ground will have a seating capacity to accommodate up to 12,000 spectators. The venue would utilize the most recent ecologically-affable features. Local authorities have sanctioned the plan and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) along with its team of architects is working on the final design. The board is hopeful that the tenders in this regard will go out by the end of next month.
Chief executive of Zimbabwe Cricket Ozias Bvute, while talking to the media claimed that Victoria Falls is a great location. He said that the climatic conditions near Victoria Falls create the perfect environment for cricket which could be played round the year. Its significance as a global heritage location and one of the astounding wonders of the world will add to the exhilaration of teams touring Zimbabwe in the days to come.
“Victoria Falls has always been a fascinating destination for visiting teams and they will undoubtedly revel at the prospect of playing between the mighty falls and surrounding wildlife”. The ongoing 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa means that the eyes of the world are focusing on the African continent as a location for sports tourism. Ozias Bvute, Chief Executive of Zimbabwe Cricket said, “As one of the most loved sports in the world, it is only right that we play our part in making Zimbabwe a sporting destination of choice”.
Zimbabwe has four cricket grounds at the moment which can host international cricket. These include the Harare Sports Club in Harare, the Queens Sports Club and the Bulawayo Athletic Club in Bulawayo and the Kwekwe Sports Club in Kwekwe. With a sitting capacity of 10,000, the Harare Sports Club is recognized as the main cricket stadium of Zimbabwe. It has hosted the ever first test match that Zimbabwe played against India in 1992. Concurrently, Zimbabwe Cricket has its head office in this ground as well. One hopes that with Zimbabwe Cricket focusing on the grass root development of cricket, the country may once again regain its lost status in international cricket.