Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
A BROKEN down pump has left Hartsfield Rugby Ground in a state of neglect.
The ground was last watered in February before the ouster of the Bulawayo Metropolitan Rugby Football Board (BMRFB) executive.
Battle to control Hartsfield has always been at the centre of a tiff between the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) and BMRFB, with relations taking a strain in 2018 when the latter turned down a deal for a Hartsfield takeover.
BMRFB refused to sign a deal with Titan Law, which wanted to renovate Hartsfield into a top class facility, which included the building of a hotel to accommodate international teams.
The present state of the venue paints a sad story about the country’s only rugby stadium.
The interim board has to work overtime to get the facility into shape for use post Covid-19 lockdown.
ZRU vice-president (Southern Region) Martin Shone said they’d fixed the damaged pump.
“Resuscitation of the grounds will start next week with watering of the grass. We are starting with the inside ground and then move to outfield. The problem that we had at Hartsfield was that the pump was down.
“We’re not neglecting the venue, but operations during the Covid-19 lockdown were not possible and now that restrictions have been relaxed, the guys will be returning to work,” said Shone.
While Hartsfield was left unattended during the lockdown, Zimbabwe Cricket ground curators were busy keeping Queens Sports Club and Emakhandeni Cricket fields well maintained.
Bulawayo City Council also made arrangements to keep all their major facilities, Barbourfields, Luveve and White City stadiums maintained. — @Zililo