A total of 1000 fully vaccinated spectators will be allowed at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo for the women's ODI series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in November. This will mark the first time since January 2020 that people will be allowed in for a cricket match in Zimbabwe; spectators last attended a cricket match in the country when Zimbabwe hosted the Sri Lanka men's team for a two-Test series in Harare.
The "exciting news", as Zimbabwe Cricket called it, was confirmed after the relevant authorities in the country approved ZC's application for the three games, scheduled for November 10, 12 and 15. A statement on the ZC website said that the exercise will "serve as a trial run for the safe return of spectators to stadiums".
"Only 1000 fans who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be permitted to watch each of the matches in person and they will be required to produce their vaccination cards and positive identification for inspection at the venue," the statement said. "The spectators will also be required to adhere to coronavirus protocols at the ground, including the obligation to wear face masks and observe physical distancing."
Givemore Makoni, the ZC managing director, said in the statement, "We have been missing the excitement and energy that fans bring to the game of cricket and we will be thrilled to safely welcome them for the first time in nearly two years as we host Bangladesh Women at Queens Sports Club in November.
"As excitement builds ahead of that crucial series, we take this opportunity to encourage all cricket lovers to ensure that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order for them to be permitted into the ground."
The series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh is going to be part of their preparations for the 50-over World Cup Qualifier, which will be played in Harare from November 21 to December 5 this year. That tournament will also feature West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and USA, with the top three teams making the cut for the global event, to be played in New Zealand in March-April 2022.