Bulawayo Athletic Ground damaged by blaze September 10, 2007

Rebuilding begins after fire damages Test ground

Warren Carne



The fire-damaged Bulawayo Athletic Club © Mags Kriel
Restoration work has begun in earnest this week to try to rebuild the Bulawayo Athletic Club after a fire wrought terrible damage to buildings towards the end of last month. The blaze at the Test ground is believed to have been started by an electrical fault.

Fire ripped through the members' bar area and billiard rooms causing thousands of dollars damage to the property. The cost to repair the affected areas is estimated to be in the region of $US 400,000. The Walkden Hall, squash courts and change rooms were saved from the blaze.

Formed in 1894, BAC over the years has hosted many international sporting events, the highlight being the New Zealand v Zimbabwe Test and ODIs in 1992. However, there were problems with a lack of adequate covering and internationals in the city were switched to the Queens Club.

The BAC chairman Trevor Williams and his committee have resolved to do their best to get the club up and running again as soon as possible, in spite of the terrible economic troubles gripping Zimbabwe.

The club is also looking to start a website for BAC in the hope that ex-BAC stalwarts worldwide may contribute to help rebuild this historic portion of Bulawayo's sporting history. Email Peter Ward for more details.