File photo of Harare Sports City.© Twitter
A fire broke out at the Harare Sports Club, one of the two venues for the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers matches, on Tuesday, Zimbabwe Cricket confirmed in a statement. A quick response from the fire brigade made sure that no damage was done to the ground, despite the face that the blaze happened behind the south-west stand. ICC security team, Zimbabwe Cricket did an inspection and decided that the remaining matches will go exactly as planned.
“Zimbabwe Cricket can confirm a fire occurred at Harare Sports Club behind the south-west grandstand at the venue last night. A prompt response from the City of Harare Fire Brigade ensured the flames were quickly doused and there was no damage caused to any of the structures at the ground. Tomorrow’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 fixture at Harare Sports Club will not be affected and will proceed as scheduled,” the statement read.
After six hours of Zimbabwe’s six-wicket win over the Netherlands on Tuesday, flames were visible from the southern end of the ground, as per a report. The material which caught fire consisted mainly of thatched roofing at Castle Corner, which is generally occupied by Zimbabwe Cricket Supporters Union. The reason behind the initial spark is not known but on an open field with highly combustible material, the blaze grew quickly and a video showed it go as high as trees outside the ground and reach near the stands.
Authorities were promptly notified due to the Harare Sports Club’s proximity to Zimbabwe House, an important government structure. Before the fire could destroy the stands, they extinguished it.
The ground was examined on Wednesday morning to make sure it was secure for spectators, and it was then given the all-clear. Since the COVID-19 limitations were lifted, the arena has had crowded audiences, with interest in the national men’s team at an all-time high.
At Harare Sports Club, there are still four Super Six games, three more group matches, and the championship game on July 9. The two teams that compete in the final will also earn a spot in the ODI World Cup this year, which will be held in India from October-November.
(With ANI Inputs)
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