President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday welcomed eight visiting cricket teams taking part in the International Cricket Council Women’s World Cup Qualifiers which will get underway in Harare this Sunday.
The teams include the United States of America, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Ireland and Netherlands.
In his welcome remarks, the President urged the players to showcase their talents and great sportsmanship, at the same time building and deepening relations between and amongst their countries.
“On behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, the people of this great country and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to welcome you all to our country Zimbabwe.
“As a country, Zimbabwe is honoured to be a host of a tournament of this magnitude and global significance, which will see nine teams battling it out for the three remaining places at the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup to be hosted in New Zealand,” said President Mnangagwa.
The President highlighted that the hosting of the games in Zimbabwe also goes a long way in the development of confidence and social skills for the country’s women and the girl child. He expressed his profound gratitude to the International Cricket Council for awarding Zimbabwe the opportunity to host the prestigious event.
He added that the 2021 ICC Women’s Qualifier offers Zimbabwe a unique opportunity to showcase the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage and vibrancy to the visitors and hoped that the vast tourist attractions will provide a memorable experience for the touring teams.
“I hope that you will be able to sample some of the wonderful tourist sites such as the Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe, Nyanga and Vumba mountains, Mana pools and Hwange National Parks among others, he said.
President Mnangagwa revealed that his Government is implementing the National Development Strategy-1 (NDS-1) under which the Sport and Recreation Sector seeks to promote inclusive participation of previously under-represented groups and marginalised communities informed by the mantra ‘leaving no one and no place behind’. He added that the Government is committed to providing an enabling environment for the development of centres of excellence and improved performance resulting in beautiful scripted sporting stories.
The qualifiers which will run until the fifth of next month are taking place at four different venues in the capital, namely Harare Sports Club, Old Hararians, Takashinga and Sunrises Cricket club.
It is the first time that Zimbabwe is hosting the women’s global qualifiers after hosting the Women’s African qualifiers in 2019 and the men’s T20 World Cup qualifiers in 2018.
The country is also poised to co-host the men’s World Cup with South Africa and Namibia in 2027.