ZIMBABWE cricket lovers this week had an opportunity to touch the ICC World Cup trophy as it made its tour in the country.
The trophy landed in Victoria Falls on Tuesday amid pomp and fanfare, in an occasion at which Zimbabwe Cricket took the opportunity to make an undertaking to build a cricket stadium in the resort town starting before the end of the year.
ICC marketing and promotions officer Gurjit Singh touched down at the Victoria Falls International Airport from South Africa just before 1PM and was welcomed by administrators and three national team players.
The colourful ceremony started with council officials and ZC administrators visiting the site of the new cricket stadium to be built in the resort town.
ZC spokesperson Lovemore Banda said the facility will be the biggest in the country with a seating capacity of 10 000.
The groundbreaking ceremony will be done before the end of the year, and the facility will be located off Pioneer Road in the industrial site in a basin between the railway line and Chinotimba Township.
a�?The stadium will be in a basin because this is a heritage area. We thought of having a cricket venue here to promote sports tourism. Our cricketers have played in humid areas and we want them to acclimatise here. The groundbreaking will be in November then work can begin,a�? said Banda.
ZC chairman Wilson Manase said funding for the project will come from different sponsors and well-wishers as ZC was not spared by economic challenges.
The trophy was then paraded in the streets of Harare on Wednesday. The World Cup will be staged in Australia in February next year. Since July, the trophy has been to Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, England, Wales, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Ireland and Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Africa. After the Zimbabwe stop, the trophy will be flown to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) then Jamaica and Barbados in the West Indies before arriving in Melbourne, Australia, on November 6 a�� 100 days before the beginning of the international cricket showcase, ending four months of its world tour.