The ground ZC wants to build

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is adamant that their ambitious project to construction of a 10 000 seater cricket ground in Victoria Falls is on course.

The ground will be constructed in a basin facing the gorge and the falls, along the Bulawayo- Victoria Falls railway line.

The ground breaking ceremony is scheduled to take place at the site next month as the association earmarks to have the project completed by the end of next year in time for the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting slotted for Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls is generally hot with temperatures akin to the weather conditions found in areas such as Bangladesh.

The Zimbabwe A team currently touring the subcontinent have found the going tough largely due to the hot and humid conditions found in the Asian country.

The developmental side captained by national team opener, Vusi Sibanda succumbed to a 2-0 series defeat in the two-match unofficial Test series.

The team has however been able to with the first ODI before losing the second and third limited overs matches.

Speaking during the ICC World Cup Trophy Tour, ZC chairman Wilson Manase expressed satisfaction at the choice of the site for building the venue.

He said apart from promoting sports tourism, the move would also help ZC save funds that are normally gobbled up by leasing Harare Sports Club and Queens Sports Club.

“This place helps provide some similarities with what is experienced in countries such as Bangladesh; very hot but the major difference is that here the weather is not humid,” Manase told reporters in Victoria Falls recently.

“We need stability, we are doing this for the players and our children because we don’t want to be having problems with the landlords in terms of rent because most of the grounds are owned by councils.”

The ground breaking ceremony is scheduled for November with ZC long serving patron since the country obtained Test status in 1992, president Robert Mugabe expected to be the guest of honour.

ZC is currently embedded by a $18 million debt mainly because of an outstanding loan owed to Metbank and it is not clear how they will fun this ambitious project.

Manase however, maintained confidence that if everything goes to plan, the venue will open its doors next year.

“We cannot divulge many details on where exactly the funds will come from at this stage but we are hoping to get some help from sponsors and other partners,” he said.

The ground according to the site plan will comprise of a hotel, dining, reception area, controlled players’ entrance, a gym, restaurant and braai areas among other features.

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