Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket and the domestic Premiership football champions FC Platinum can now start preparing for their international assignments after they got the nod from the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to participate in their scheduled events next month.
The Sports and Recreation Commission yesterday advised that their applications for participation have been approved and will be subject to strict conditions. All sporting activities are currently suspended in the country in line with the national coronavirus lockdown measures.
But the platinum miners are set to face with Senegalese giants ASC Jaraaf for the ticket to qualify to the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup next month while ZC have two international cricket engagements.
The senior men's team is set for a series against Afghanistan either in India or United Arab Emirates while the women's side have a home date against Pakistan.
ZC are still locked up in negotiations with their Afghan counterparts, who host their assignments on neutral venue because of the security situation in their country, to finalise the tour details.
Oman has also emerged as a possible venue for the two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
The Sports Commission yesterday advised ZC that they should prefer UAE because of the limited Covid-19 risks.
Among the conditions for the men's cricket tour, at least a minimum of 10-day bubble will be required with PCR testing a mandatory before the bubble and before departure.
The team lists for the travelling delegation are also required to be submitted for clearance by the SRC before the team's travel out of Zimbabwe.
The Sports Commission also urged the team to strictly adhere to the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health and Child Care protocols for mitigating the spread of Covid-19.
ZC are required to ensure the entire traveling delegation goes into 14-day isolation upon return from tour.
"Please note that these preventative and containment measures must be observed at all times to safeguard the lives of the athletes and officials," said the Sports Commission in their statement.
The women's side are set to break their two-year hiatus from international cricket when they play Pakistan in three one-dayers and two T20 matches in Harare next month.
The proposed tour will be held in a bio-secure bubble with no spectators allowed at the match venue.
All matches are scheduled to be played at Harare Sports Club, starting with the one-dayers on February 11, 13 and 15. The T20 games have been set for February 18 and 20 February.
"The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) hereby gives you notice, following your application, that the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation APPROVED your application for the Pakistan Women's Cricket team to tour Zimbabwe for a limited overs cricket series against the Zimbabwe Senior Women's Cricket team from 6th to 20th February 2021 in Harare.
"The approval shall, in addition to the requirements specified in Statutory Instrument 200 of 2020 as amended, World Health Organisation guidelines, other legislation and policy directives as well as precautions submitted with your application relating to the prevention and containment of COVID-19, be subject to the (set down) conditions," said the Sports Commission.
FC Platinum, who revealed this week that they have lost one week of training, are expected to get down to serious business immediately. They face ASC Jaraaf in the first leg of the Confederation Cup group stage qualifying playoff on February 14 at the National Sports Stadium. The return leg has been penciled in for the following week at the multi-purpose Stade Demba Diop in Dakar.
"The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) hereby gives you notice, following your application, that the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation APPROVED your application for FC Platinum to participate in the CAF Confederations Cup," said the Sports Commission in a statement.
"The approval shall, in addition to the requirements specified in Statutory Instrument 200 of 2020 as amended, World Health Organization guidelines, other legislation and policy directives as well as precautions submitted with your application relating to the prevention and containment of COVID-19, be subject to the following conditions;
Ensure adequate measures are put in place for the hospitalisation of any serious COVID19 cases for visiting teams should this arise.
A minimum of 10-day bubble is compulsory.
PCR testing before bubble and before departure. If already in bubble to maintain the same and never break the same. Be guided by the Ministry of Health and Child Care on local health measures and
Government declarations on level of lockdown at the time of the tour.
Facilitate mandatory testing of all athletes and officials and ensure the production of Covid-19 Certificates 48 hours prior to entering camp and valid for 48 hours before leaving camp and or for external travel.
Ensure the team lists for the travelling delegation are submitted for clearance by the SRC before the team's travel out of Zimbabwe.
Appoint and submit to the SRC details of Compliance Officer to ensure full compliance with Covid-19 national and international protocols.
Training sessions should be conducted strictly in bubble.
Always ensure strict adherence to all COVID-19 protocols to protect the lives of athletes and officials. Please note that these preventative and containment measures must be observed at all times.