By Sports Reporter
WOMEN’S cricket in Zimbabwe has been handed a major boost after the Southern African nation was confirmed as the host nation for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 by the world cricket governing body on Thursday.
The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 will be held from November 21 to December 5 at venues yet to be confirmed in the capital, Harare.
The 10-team tournament, the schedule for which will be announced in due course, decides three qualifiers for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 to be held in New Zealand from 4 March to 3 April.
The qualifying teams will join five teams who have already qualified through the ICC Women’s Championship – Australia, England, India, South Africa and hosts New Zealand.
The three qualifiers as well as the next two teams will also ensure places in the next ICC Women’s Championship (IWC) along with the top five from last time, as the number of teams in the third cycle of the IWC goes up from eight to 10 teams.
The teams that will be seen in action in the fifth edition of the tournament are Bangladesh, Ireland, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United States, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.
ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley said: “The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier is an extremely important event in our calendar as it not only provides teams with a chance to qualify for the World Cup but will also determine the final two participants in the next edition of the ICC Women’s Championship.
“I’m sure Harare will be witness to some keenly contested matches. I thank Zimbabwe Cricket for agreeing to host the tournament and wish teams all the best in their preparations for this important event.”
Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said: “Firstly, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the ICC board for their magnanimous gesture in allowing us the privilege of hosting the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021.
“On our part, we will leave no stone unturned to ensure this prestigious global event stands out as a unique event that celebrates Zimbabwe in all its magnificent splendour, richness, vibrancy, diversity and glory.
“I believe being granted the right to host this tournament is a vote of confidence in what we as ZC are doing and what we are hoping to do.
“You can rest assured we will not disappoint. We will not disappoint the nation of Zimbabwe and we will not disappoint the game of cricket.”