By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S national women cricket team will need to negotiate past the continental qualifiers to be hosted by neighbours Botswana in October next year in their quest for qualification to the Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa.
Botswana, who will take part in qualifiers for the first time, will host that qualifier in October of 2021 with reigning African champions battling against the hosts, Cameroon, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania as well as Uganda.
Zimbabwe will need to win the continental tournament to feature in the global qualifier in 2022 where they will have an opportunity to book one of the two tickets on offer for the showpiece to be hosted by South Africa.
The 10-team World Cup tournament which takes place from February 9-23, 2023 will see hosts South Africa plus the seven top teams in the 2020 rankings as of 30 November 2021 – from those that competed in the 2020 event in Australia – automatically qualify.
The Lady Chevrons will head into the qualifiers hoping to secure their maiden ticket to the World Cup.
They won the regional qualifier hosted in Harare last year but did not get the opportunity to compete in the second and final global qualifiers after the country’s suspension by the International Cricket Council due to government interference in the administration of the elite sport.
Zimbabwe’s place at the Twenty20 Women’s World Global qualifiers in Scotland was taken by neighbours Namibia, who had finished second in the African qualifiers.
After the disappointment due to the country’s suspension, the Lady Chevrons also missed out on the qualifiers for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup, in New Zealand, which were set for Sri Lanka in June after they were postponed as a precautionary measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The announcement of the qualifying pathway for the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup comes at a time when women’s cricket in Zimbabwe is on a high following the launch of two women’s domestic competitions by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) in October.