THE International Cricket Council (ICC) has postponed the Pepsi ICC-Africa Division Two World Cup Twenty20 tournament which will feature eight countries, among them Zambia.
ICC-Africa regional projects officer Zuraida Badat said the tournament had been deferred from August to October because of a clash in dates with the World Cup League Division Four and Division Eight tournaments.
Badat said in a statement that the tournament would now be held from October 1-4 in Benoni, South Africa, and that as a result of change of dates, the eight participating teams were expected to arrive in Benoni on September 30 and depart on October five.
"Please be informed that this change is due to the fact that the initial dates were found to have been clashing with the International WCL events namely, the Division Four and Division Eight, respectively. So it was decided to change to a neutral date to accommodate this issue as such.
We do apologise for any inconvenience which the change of dates may have caused you and hope that you will find the above in order. All relevant documentation will be sent to all concerned shortly pertaining to the event," he said.
Zambia Cricket Union (ZCU) president Reuben Chama said in an interview yesterday that the postponement would work to the advantage of each of the eight participants because it gives the teams enough time to prepare.
Chama said ICC had made a good decision and expressed confidence that Zambia would win the tournament and put the country on the world map, like it did when it won the Division Three tournament early this year.
"The postponement of the tournament would work to everyone's advantage as this will give the teams enough time to equip themselves for the championship and also perfect their skills," Chama said.
The rest of the teams scheduled to participate in the tournament are Botswana, Ghana, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Swaziland, and Tanzania.
Zambia qualified for the Division Two tournament after winning the Division Three on April 28, defeating Seychelles by five wickets in the play-offs at Sahara Park Willowmoore Stadium in Benoni.
Prior to the Seychelles game, Zambia defeated Cameroun, Gambia, Mali, Morocco, Saint Helena, the Seychelles and 2011 Pepsi ICC Africa Division Three World Twenty20 champions Rwanda.