Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
THE long-awaited construction of a multipurpose cricket stadium in the resort town of Victoria Falls remains a pipe dream more than a year after it was first proposed.
Zimbabwe Cricket undertook to build a new cricket stadium in October 2014 and a ceremony was held at the site just off Pioneer Road in the industrial site between the railway line and Chinotimba suburb but nothing has come out of the proposal.
Residents and the business community are now wondering whether the proposal will ever materialise.
Victoria Falls Mayor Sifiso Mpofu said the project was long overdue and called on ZC to do something.
“ZC and us have unfinished business. You came and talked about the groundbreaking ceremony for the cricket stadium and a year has now passed. We hope you’ll do something this year,” Mpofu said at a function to officially welcome the Nissan International Cricket Council World Twenty20 trophy on Sunday.
The trophy is making stops in all countries that will take part in this year’s ICC T20 World Cup set for India from March to April.
ZC head of corporate affairs Nesta Vaki said the proposal was not off the rails as the board was still in the process of mobilising resources.
She said no timelines and budget could be set as that depends on the amount of resources ZC can secure for the facility.
Vaki said the board was still liaising with potential sponsors for the “grand” stadium, whose location would ensure the occasional splashes from the rainforest cool down players on the field.
“We wanted to have a ground breaking and sent a delegation to do preliminary work in August. What we can say now is that plans for the stadium are still on. We’re still going to build the stadium,” said Vaki.
“Our board is liaising with sponsors. We’ve potential sponsors but I can’t name them now. I also can’t talk about the budget now because we want to build a grand multipurpose facility with accommodation, whose cost we can’t quantify as yet,” she said.
If built, the facility would become the third international standard Test cricket stadium in the country after Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo and Harare Sports Club.
The facility is also earmarked to promote sports tourism and put Victoria Falls on the sporting map as there are no other significant sporting activities besides Division One football in the resort due to a lack of facilities.