Zimbabwe : Shock waves as Mugabe talks cricket !

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Robert Mugabe is nowhere near Malaysia. He is at work at his Muhumutapa offices, and not showing any signs of clearing his draws.
Mugabe briefly appeared this at a short briefing morning but not to talk about elections.

from our correspondent in Harare

He is already planning ahead and his focus was the gentlemen’s game- CRICKET. He is a self-confessed cricket lover.

Mugabe, shocked reporters when he announced plans to construct a world-class cricket stadium to be the centerpiece of a Zimbabwe’s bid to host the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

He said a reconstructed Harare Sports Club ground would help the country win the right to host the next ICC tournament up for grabs.
He had not been seen in public since casting his own ballot with his family on Saturday.

This fueled speculation that he has already fled with his family to Malaysia. Mugabe declined to answer questions about how he regarded his progress in the polls, only saying he was looking forward to leading his ruling Zanu (PF) party “on to the field” for its next innings in power, but hinted at a more conciliatory tone as he talked about a “bridge building” tournament.

“We will show the world that there is more to our country than the lies they peddle about us,” he said. “The great cricketing countries will come and we will welcome them and we will beat them.”

Zimbabwe Cricket quickly said work on upgrading the Harare Sports Club, site of the country’s first Test-level match against India in 1992, would begin as soon as possible, at a cost of about $50m.

The ground, buttressed by the Presidential Palace and Royal Harare Golf Club in the centre of the city, accommodates only 10000 spectators. This will be increased to 50000.

One stand at the renovated ground would be named after the disgraced former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje, Mugabe said. He did not say who the other stands would be named after, nor did he give any
further details about the planned reconstruction.

Cronje was a Mugabe fan so when he died Mugabe, said mourned his passing on. He described Cronje as a “marvellous” captain, despite being banned for life from cricket for his attempts to fix matches that saw him take more than $100000 from bookmakers. Cronje died in a plane crash in June 2002.

“What a marvellous captain he was. What is even more sad is that it wasn’t even much money. It’s a pity, a real pity.”

The 2011 world cup will be hosted in Asia. Zimbabwe’s bid for the 2015
tournament could not immediately be confirmed with the Dubai-based
International Cricket Council.

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