ZIMBABWE women cricket player, Pellargia Mujaji, believes the abandoned encounter against Pakistan was a blow to their World Cup qualifier preparations.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) mutually agreed to end the Pakistan women’s national cricket team’s tour to Harare last week due to cancellation of flights by Emirates Airlines.
Pakistan won the opening 50-over match last Tuesday and were due to play the second one-dayer last Friday, with the final match of the tour set for tomorrow (February 20).
The team was originally scheduled to depart on Sunday.
However, following Emirates Airlines’ announcement that it had suspended its flight operations on the Harare-Dubai route from last Saturday to February 28, both boards decided to end the tour after the first match.
Both Zimbabwe and Pakistan were using the abandoned tour as part of their preparations for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021, a 10-team tournament that will be held in June and July.
The top three teams from that qualifying event will progress to the 50-over ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
The talented Mountaineers player, who is also the team’s former captain and now a senior player in the Zimbabwe women’s squad said: “It was an opportunity for us to have a look on our performance as we are in a tight situation with Covid-19. We are not sure how many games we will play before the qualifiers in three months time.”
She bemoaned the lost opportunity for the ladies to get back into shape after a lengthy lay-off.
“It was a good opportunity for us to play some cricket again and it felt good being in the thick of things again after two years of a dry spell of international games. It is unfortunate that we were unable to complete the fixture,” she said.
ZC managing director, Givemore Makoni, said the cause of the abandonment of the series was understandable.
“It is unfortunate that the Pakistan women’s team had to cut short their stay in Zimbabwe as a precautionary move after some unforeseen air travel complications arose, but their concern is understandable.
“Nonetheless, we would like to thank the PCB for having committed to the historic tour which we have no doubt would have been memorable and a massive boost for our women’s game had it not been discontinued.
“We hope to host them again in the near future,” said Makoni.