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ICC calls off Women’s World Cup qualifier

THE Zimbabwe women’s cricket team will have to wait a bit longer to test their mettle against the world’s best following the postponement of the final qualifier for the 2009 International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Cricket World Cup.

The event, which has been postponed indefinitely, was scheduled to be staged in Lahore, Pakistan, from November 19 to 25.

Announcing the postponement, the world cricket-governing body, ICC, said the decision was arrived at following independent security reports and extensive discussions by its management and the ICC Women’s Committee.

“As recently as October 25, the ICC women’s committee reaffirmed its commitment to staging the event, as scheduled, in Lahore,” said chief executive Malcolm Speed in a statement. “However, the heightened state of tension within the country over the past few days represents a change in circumstances that we have a duty to consider.”

His comment follows the recent imposition of a state of emergency in Pakistan.

The Zimbabwe women’s team has been in camp for the past three weeks, and was shaping up well for the Pakistan challenge. They played a number of matches against boys’ age-group sides from Churchill and Prince Edward High School and had given a good account of their talent.

The final qualifier for the women’s cricket global showcase will see eight teams — Bermuda, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, South Africa, the Netherlands, Zimbabwe and Pakistan — fight it out for two tickets to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which will be held in Australia in 2009. —

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