By Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
THE Government is committed to providing an enabling environment for sports persons to excel.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa made the remarks at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo as he officially welcomed seven visiting teams for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B.
Seven visiting teams and the hosts Zimbabwe are preparing to take part in the International Cricket Council T20 World Cup Qualifier set to start this Monday at Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club in the country’s second largest city.
Two teams will progress to the World Cup set for Australia later this year.
Addressing participants and officials gathered at Queens Sports Club this Sunday, President Mnangagwa emphasised the second Republic’s commitment to sport development.
“Allow me to highlight that the Government of Zimbabwe is committed to providing an environment which allows sport persons, from various disciplines to grow and realise their full potential. In doing so we are determined to leave no one and no place behind,” he said.
“Presently my administration is formulating the Sport and Recreation Policy which seeks to promote the inclusive participation of previously marginalised communities, this is aimed at re-modelling our sporting sector into an inclusive and viable industry.”
President Mnangagwa also highlighted the importance of sport in national development.
“The fact that eight teams drawn from different continents are participating is set to add diversity and jamboree atmosphere to this sporting duel.
“It is also an example of the role sport plays in uniting people from diverse backgrounds as well as the ability to speak to us ina language we all understand.
“Although the stakes are high with the winners set go take the two remaining places at the ICC T20 World Cup to be staged in Australia later this year, I trust you will all enjoy the event and exhibit fair play. Cricket is more than a game I Zimbabwe but an enduring passion for our youths and adult fans.”
He further alluded that the hosting of the games are a reflection of confidence in the country towards developing the sport.
“The hosting of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B 2022 is indeed a show of confidence and support in the strides Zimbabwe is making towards the development of cricket, not only in our country but on the African continent as a whole.
“Let me take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the International Cricket Council for Zimbabwe’s nomination to co-host the ICC Men’s World Cup 2027, alongside our Southern African neighbours, Namibia and South Africa. As a Government, we stand ‘kitted out; pads, gloves and helmets on’ to play our part towards the success of that event. “
The ICC qualifiers starting this Monday will be the fourth international cricket tournament that Zimbabwe will host in four years after successful hosting the 2018 One day International World Cup Qualifiers then the 2019 Africa Women qualifiers, and last year in November the Women T20 World Cup Qualifiers.