More Support for Zim Cricket
The International Cricket Council has reaffirmed its support for financially crippled Zimbabwe Cricket board through various developmental projects.
Speaking after a closed door meeting with the visiting ICC boss, Shashank Manohar, Minister of Sports and Recreation, Makhosini Hlongwane said the Zimbabwe cricket team has a huge potential to develop into a world class squad.
Hlongwane said the ICC Chairman was pleased with the work that’s being done in developing the game in the country and it is to that regard that as part of the ICC’s efforts to see cricket development in Zimbabwe, the cricket mother board together with Zimbabwe Cricket have come up with a cricket academy in India.
“We discussed a number of issues pertaining to the development of the game in Zimbabwe and one of the issues hinged on a cricket academy for Zimbabwe Cricket players in Nagpur, India.
This will help develop players who will be able to do well in the subcontinent as it is not a secret that our players have failed to do well in the subcontinent for a number of years,” said Hlongwane.
This development comes at a time when Zimbabwe cricketers have perennially struggled with conditions in the subcontinent.
The first batch of cricketers will depart for Nagpur, India in October to take up intensive training and acclimatize to the humid and spin favourite conditions in India.
Another issue discussed during the meeting was Zimbabwe Cricket’s preparedness to host the 2019 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers set for next year.
In his response, the ICC boss expressed satisfaction with the development of cricket and the progress made so far towards the hosting the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers.
“We are happy with the work that is being done so far in both developing the game as well as the progress ahead of the qualifiers. We will give a full report on the dates of the event and the progress when we convene an ICC board meeting in Harare in October, but overall, we are happy,” said Manohar.
He added that although the local game had suffered in the past due to numerous “problems” , it was encouraging to see cricket rising again.
Manohar said he was pleased with Zimbabwe’s recent performances in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman, Tavengwa Mukhuhlani dismissed claims that the local cricket board had received loans from financial institutions to service the long standing debt which is believed to be over US$19 million.
Mukhuhlani said the board had come up with strategies to service the loan, which at one time stood at US$24 million and despite the economic hardships, they will continue to find ways to service the debt.