HARARE – Sporting ties between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom continue to strengthen again following the arrival of an England polo team in the country last week for the first time in 50 years.
The two teams will clash in a potentially-thrilling test match at the Bushman Wine Estate nestled in the Nyamasanga River Valley, a short drive outside Harare, this coming weekend.
This venue is best known for its vineyards and picturesque surroundings as one of the oldest vineyards in the country.
The strong England team, captained by Bobby Melville, arrived in the country on Friday.
A cocktail was held for the visitors at the Bar and Grill at Borrowdale before a preliminary competition at Thornpark along Mazowe Road.
According to Polo Times, the sport in Zimbabwe “is once again a force to be reckoned with,” reports the UK online publication, adding: “Under the chairmanship of Grant Flanagan, an executive committee dedicated to renewing ties with other polo playing nations, the Polo Association of Zimbabwe, has played host to teams from South Africa, Kenya and Jamaica in recent years.”
“Most notably, Zimbabwe will be hosting an English team from the September 1st to 10th. This is the first official touring team from England in over 50 years and is expected to support the recovery of the game and demonstrate the openness of the country to visitors of all walks of life.
“Bushman Rock (the venue), managed by Jono Passaportis, has undergone a radical redevelopment in recent times with extensive replanting of the vines, the renovation of the original winery, introduction of over 11 species of antelope into the game reserve and the installation of various equine and polo facilities.
Commercial aspects of the event are to be handled by 6andCompany who despite being new to the polo fraternity in Zimbabwe has brokered various sponsorship and partnership agreements for the international event.”
The Foundations Project, which is organising the event, will host a fun day on the final day of the three-day occasion on Sunday.
Zimbabwe: Gary Aitcheson (captain), Davey Miekle, Thomas Wood, Smart Kusiwa.
England: Bobby Mellvile (captain), Rupert Lewis, Oliver Powell, Alex Mains.