Sports in retrospect: The highs and lows of 2019

By Francis Nyamutsamba
2019 proved to be an eventful year on the sporting front for Zimbabwe with the netball gems world cup success coming under the spotlight as one of the notable sporting expedition for the country.
THE year can safely be labelled a year of mixed fortunes for Zimbabwe on the sporting front as it was characterised by some moments to cherish as well as not so memorable ones. The Zimbabwe netball gems captured the attention of Zimbabweans with some superb showings at the World Cup.
The year was however not short of disappointments with the Zimbabwe Cricket getting suspended by the ICC before being reinstated while on the football front the Warriors again faltered to perform at the Africa Cup of Nations.
In May, Zimbabwe was crowned champions of the International Cricket Council Women’s Qualifier Africa following a 50-run win over Namibia in the final at Harare Sports Club as victory earned the lady Chevrons a place at the global qualifiers.
On the football front, all attention was on the Warriors 4th Afcon appearance in Egypt.
Zimbabwe again flattered to deceive after ending the tournament in Egypt with just one point from 3 matches.
An opening 1-nil defeat to Egypt, a 1-all draw with Uganda and a 4-nil loss at the hands of the Democratic Republic of Congo sent the Warriors packing at Africa’s biggest football showpiece.
In July, negative news dominated the headlines on the cricket front after Zimbabwe was suspended as a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) over alleged government interference.
As a result of the suspension, Zimbabwe was not allowed to participate at any ICC events including the Women’s Global T-20 World Cup Qualifiers while the men were also barred from competing in qualifiers for the T-20 World Cup.
Despite the negativity surrounding cricket, netball generated some excitement after Zimbabwe’s gems held their own at the World Cup in England after finishing in 8th position at the global event.
After opening their campaign with a victory over Sri-Lanka, Zimbabwe succumbed to a 73-37 loss to Australia but bounced back in their next encounter by getting the better of Northern Ireland 51-49 in their final group game.
Defeats to New Zealand and Malawi and a win over Barbados saw Zimbabwe end the tournament ranked 8th.
In September, the rugby fraternity gave Zimbabweans something to celebrate after the Sables won the Victoria Cup following an incredible campaign.
To cap off an impressive month Charles Manyuchi turned on the power to claim the World Boxing Federation (WBF) title after a third-round knockout of Argentine opponent, Diego Gallardo at the Harare International Conference Centre.
October saw Zimbabwe’s re-admission as an ICC full member following evidence of measures having been taken to restore sanity in one of the country’s most popular sport.
November was marked by the Zimbabwe Sevens Rugby Team’s failure to secure automatic Olympic qualification at the Africa men’s sevens tournament held in South Africa.
In December the year was capped off with drama in the domestic premiership with FC Platinum claiming the PSL League title on the final day.