Zimbabwe Cricket has announced the construction of a major new cricket ground close to the iconic Victoria Falls, widely considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The venue, which will have a capacity of up to 12,000, will be of Test standard, the first such major site outside Harare and Bulawayo, and will utilise the latest ecologically-friendly features. Approval has been obtained from the local authorities and ZC is now working with architects on the final design. The board hopes tenders will go out by the end of August.

"Victoria Falls is a wonderful location," ZC chief executive Ozias Bvute told Cricinfo."Its climatic conditions create the ideal environment for year-round cricket and its status as an international heritage site and one of the amazing wonders of the world will aid to the excitement of teams visiting it.

"Victoria Falls has always been a fascinating destination for visiting teams and they will undoubtedly revel at the prospect of playing between the mighty falls and surrounding wildlife".

"The ongoing 2010 World Cup means that the eyes of the world are focused on Africa as a sports tourism destination more than ever before and as one of the most loved sports in the world, it is only right that we play our part in making Zimbabwe a sporting destination of choice."

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa