Fungayi Munyoro Sports Correspondent
LADY Chevrons hopes for Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in Australia next year have hit a hard rock after ICC officially announced replacement teams for both the Lady Chevrons and Chevrons.
Namibia will take Zimbabwe’s place in the Women’s qualifier in Scotland later this month, while Nigeria will now compete in the men’s qualifier in the UAE in October.
Zimbabwe were suspended by the ICC for government interference and will only be allowed to resume playing international cricket if the government-appointed Sports and Recreation Commission reinstates the board of Zimbabwe Cricket that it replaced. In the last few days there have been positive talks between the SRC and the suspended board, but it will all be too late as far as these qualifiers are concerned.
Lady Chevrons manager Samu Nkiwane said the team had to cancel their practice session on Wednesday.
“We are down as a team. We had to cancel our practice today at Takashinga. We are disappointed but as the manager I have to encourage the ladies that missing out on the qualifiers is not the end of the road for us. We still have other qualifiers that are coming next year. We can still play other countries. Obviously this was the prime tournament that we have been looking forward to this year. It is quite difficult for us at the moment,” she said.
Nkiwane said she is hopeful that ICC would lift the suspension soon.
“Once the suspension is lifted, we will have as many tours as possible. It is a difficult situation for us all. We need to engage the services of a psychologist that can speak to the ladies. They will continue training. We are still hopeful that SRC are going to make the decisions soon. We have other programmes that have been lined up. We are looking forward to South Africa summer tour,” she said. The ICC have threatened to terminate Zimbabwe Cricket’s membership in October should their conditions, including a reinstatement of the suspended board of directors, are not met.
‘’Namibia will compete in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019, replacing Zimbabwe which has been suspended by the ICC,’’ the international cricket governing body said in a statement.
The event which gets underway in Scotland later this month will see Namibia join hosts Scotland, Bangladesh, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and USA to compete for the two remaining spots at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.
The ICC said the Chevrons will also not feature in the qualifier for the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.
“In the men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, Nigeria will take the 14th and final spot in place of suspended Zimbabwe when the event gets underway in the UAE in October,’’ the ICC said.
Nigeria will join hosts UAE, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jersey, Kenya, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Singapore and two teams from the Americas Final due to be held later this month.