HARARE – Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) will use world-class international grounds Harare Sports Club and Bulawayo’s Queens Sports Club as television venues during next year’s World Cup Qualifiers set for March.
Three other cricket stadia, Old Hararians, Bulawayo Athletic Club and Kwekwe Sports Club will be part of the five-field official stadia to be used for the 10-team tournament.
Only two teams from the qualifiers will then join eight other top Test playing nations for the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
ZC managing director Faisal Hasnain told the Daily News that they are working on improving all these facilities in order for the qualifiers to leave a lasting legacy for the local game.
“We need to upgrade our stadia because of this event; we will be forced to. The ICC gave us a hosting fee which we intend to spend on making sure that those stadia are upgraded,” Hasnain told the Daily News.
“The ICC don’t pay for infrastructure, they pay for operations. They pay for anything to make sure that the event operationally happens and we have to supply them with clean and proper stadia.
“We will also be upgrading our equipment which we haven’t upgraded since 2003 and in some cases since 2001…I was shown tractors that were bought in 2001 and this gives us an opportunity to make sure that those are upgraded.”
In confirming the grounds to be used during the qualifiers, Hasnain said five venues will officially host the tournament.
“They will be two TV venues — Harare Sports Club and Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo and the other three grounds will be given temporary accreditation because they have to qualify for ODI status,” he said.
“We will bring them to the requisite standard that allows them to be temporarily accredited then of course we will have practice facilities and warm up matches of which we are looking at some schools as well.”
While, the ICC will pour money towards the hosting of the qualifiers, the former ICC chief finance officer said that will not translate into the reduction of the association’s debt that currently stands at $19 million.