All eyes will be on Zimbabwe women’s cricket team, who are seeking their first ever major tournament qualification when they host the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Cricket Twenty-20 Qualifier Africa tournament slated for May 5 -13, 2019.
The matches in the tournament will be played as Women’s Twenty-20 Internationals (WT20Is), with the team that finishes top progressing to both the 2019 ICC Women’s World Twenty-20 Qualifier and the 2020 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournaments.
Fresh from winning the Victoria Women Cricket Tri Series in Uganda — now the country’s women team has the opportunity to post another milestone achievement.
“It’s a big platform for us and we are looking forward to a great tourney. We have been training and obviously working hard, it now comes to the execution on match day,” Zimbabwe National women cricket captain Mary-Anne Musonda said.
“The team is confident following a big boost when we won all four games in the round robin format of play against Uganda and Kenya and beat Uganda by 25 runs in the final. We want to carry on with the form.”
Eight nations, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Namibia and Tanzania will be in Harare to battle it out for the two slots to progress to the next stage of the qualifiers.
The fixtures will be played at three venues — Harare Sports Club, Takashinga Cricket Ground and Old Hararians.
Zimbabwe will be looking forward to earning a ticket to the final stage of the qualifiers after failing in their attempt last year.
Speaking after ICC awarded Zimbabwe the right to host the tournament, Zimbabwe Cricket acting managing director, Givemore Makoni, promised that Zimbabwe was ready to host the qualifiers for next year’s ICC Women’s T-20 World Cup.
“We are tremendously excited to be hosting the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2019 event, which will bring some of the world’s most talented and gifted cricketers to our beautiful country. We are privileged to have been given the right to host the Women’s T-20 Africa Region World Cup qualifiers,” he said.
“As the proud hosts, we are very passionate about what we do on and off the field and we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure we deliver an extraordinarily memorable tournament,” added Makoni.
While the ultimate goal for the teams involved will be to secure one of the two remaining berths at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2020, Makoni believes such qualifier events always provide the platform for raw talent and unheralded players.
The ICC Women’s T-20 World Cup Qualifier is a Twenty-20 International tournament run under the auspices of the International Cricket Council.
The tournament serves as the final qualifying event for the ICC T-20 World Cup for Associate Members. The first edition was held in 2008, with only six teams. This was increased to eight teams for the 2010 tournament and to 16 teams for the 2012 and 2013 editions, but reduced to 14 for the 2015 edition.