BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWE Cricket(ZC) have launched the “Fill up Harare Sports Club, All Behind the Chevrons” campaign in collaboration with local sports consultancy firm, Oracle Sports as they brace for a busy winter laden with incoming tours.
The home assignments began in earnest with a visit by South Africa A.
Zimbabwe XI lost the three-match unofficial One Day International series 2-1 at Harare Sports Club.
Focus now shifts to the shorter version of the game featuring five Twenty20 matches with the two sides scheduled to tussle for supremacy beginning on Monday at the same venue.
As part of welcoming back fans to the stadium after a long absence due to Covid-19 restrictions, ZC and Oracle Sport are going all out to improve fans’ stadium watching experience, which begins by filling up the stadium during the short and action-packed T20 matches.
The shortest format of the game has over the years brought new fans to the stadium. And with a packed itinerary which climaxes with the hosting of T20 World Cup Qualifiers, Zimbabwe wants to start feeding off the positive energy that fans bring in their bid to book a ticket at the global tourney to be held in Australia later this year.
South Africa A brought a strong squad with over seven regular players for the Proteas, the likes of the captain Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phelukwayo, Reeza Hendricks, among others.
Oracle Sport marketing manager, Blessing Chikadaga said her company wants to help Zimbabwe to qualify for the T20 World Cup in Australia and change the stadium experience for the cricket supporters in general.
“Fans are an important component of the game, without the fans there is no game,” said Chikadaga.
“If you look at players like Sikandar Raza for example, he is one player who loves playing in front of a partisan home crowd and he responds by playing some of his best cricket.”
She added that fans would be in for a massive treaty with lots of prizes to be won.
“There are also lots of prizes to be won ranging from replica jerseys to autographed bats, and many other prizes, she said.
“They will also be fun and games in the stands for the whole family, making it the ideal place to wind down and enjoy good games of cricket with the players.
“Our aim is to start building the momentum with South Africa A, Namibia and Afghanistan tours and by the time we hit July for the T20 World Cup Qualifiers, Harare Sports Club and other hosting venues should be too small to host Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabwe men’s cricket side will also play Namibia mid-next month in five T20 matches in Bulawayo as part of their build up towards the T20 World Cup qualifiers.
Their biggest test will come in June when they host Afghanistan in a three match ODI series which forms part of the Super League and T20 matches which will again help in the preparations of the T20 World Cup Qualifiers being hosted by Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe will host Group B Global Qualifiers from July 8 to 18.
The Chevrons will battle it out for the two World Cup spots with Jersey, Netherlands, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Singapore.
T20 Schedule, Zimbabwe XI versus South Africa A
Monday 2 May
Wednesday 4 May
Saturday 7 May
Sunday 8 May
Tuesday 10 May
*All matches start at 130pm