ZIMBABWE stand a great chance of hosting next year’s International Cricket Council 2019 Cricket World Cup qualifiers with a decision imminent.
spent the whole of last week at ICC meetings held in London and was optimistic of getting next year’s tournament which should enhance the country’s qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in the United Kingdom.
Mukuhlani could not be drawn to comment on whether Zimbabwe’s bid had been successful or not but he sounded cheerful with how the ICC meeting had gone. What pleased him is the fact that Zimbabwe’s membership of the ICC is guaranteed and the new finance model was passed which will see ZC getting $94 million for the period 2015 to 2023.
“I am happy with how the ICC meetings went, our Test status is no longer under question, our membership is intact and the new finance model was approved which means we are getting $94 million for the period 2015 to 2023,’’ said Mukuhlani.
What enhances Zimbabwe’s chances of hosting the qualifiers is that it is cheaper have the tournament in the country and the country sub hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup with South Africa and Kenya. Of the countries bidding to host the tournament, Zimbabwe have the best weather and also enjoy the support of most Full Members.
Zimbabwe’s biggest threat to hosting the qualifiers could come from Ireland and Scotland who submitted a joint bid to host the tournament. United Arab Emirates were the other country which wanted to host the qualifiers.
ICC general manager strategic communication Claire Furlong on Saturday said a decision had not yet been made on which country gets to host the qualifiers.
“It’s unconfirmed at present. The announcement will be made when a decision is made in the next couple of months I would imagine. Yes they (Zimbabwe) have made a bid and a decision will be taken in due course,’’ said Furlong.
Mukuhlani was accompanied to the ICC gathering by recently appointed chief executive officer Faisal Hasnain.
In an interview soon after assuming his duties last month, Hasnain outlined that the first step to get Zimbabwe back on their way to the top, the country should host next year’s World Cup qualifiers.
ZC, with the backing of Cricket South Africa submitted a bid to host the 10-team tournament staged in Zimbabwe. The best two teams from the qualifiers will join the other eight who would have automatically qualified for the 2019 World Cup to be held in England.
What necessitated the qualifiers is the fact that the ICC decided that the 2019 World Cup will be contested for by 10 teams instead of the 14 which took part in the 2015 tournament staged in Australia and New Zealand. The top eight ranked countries on the ICC One Day International table will automatically make it to England with the rest going for the qualifiers.
If the bid is successful, ZC will get $1.4 million for hosting the tournament which will come as further boost to ZC’s finances. (source: Sports Zone)