The ICC Women's T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier is two steps away from the World Cup on the road to South Africa 2023.
Hosts Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe will comprise group A, whilst Cameroon, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda will form group B in the 11-team tournament to be played in Gaborone from September 9-19.
The top two teams from each group will play in the semi-finals, before the two finalists compete for the lone qualification spot to the Global Qualifier 2022, on September 19. The event also provides the opportunity for teams to move up the MRF Tyres ICC Women's T20I Team Rankings with Zimbabwe (12th) the highest-ranked out of all participating teams, and Uganda (18th) and Tanzania (19th) also featuring in the top 20.
In all, there will be 29 Women's T20 Internationals streamed across the event. Highlights and the very best in-play moments will be shared on ICC's digital assets, providing additional exposure to the event, giving fans an opportunity to watch the action on-demand.
Botswana captain Laura Mophakedi, in an official release, said: "It is a great privilege for us as Botswana to be participating in the Africa Qualifier to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023 for the first time and to also be hosting in these difficult times. We have been working towards the tournament covering all aspects of the game and improving from the playing experience we recently had in Rwanda. We are expecting a very competitive tournament and we are up for the challenge especially with home ground advantage. I will also take this opportunity to wish all the other teams participating all the best."
Cameroon captain Michele Solange Ekani Ngono said: "Given that this is the first time that we are participating in this tournament, it is a great opportunity and opens doors for my team and our country. We have been playing cricket for a few years in Cameroon and the event provides a great platform where we can showcase our talent. We will make use of this opportunity given to us to make our country proud."
Due to a player in the Cameroon team receiving a positive result from an arrival COVID-19 test, the whole squad has been placed in isolation until Saturday and will then re-test.
The ICC has developed and implemented robust biosafety protocols, consistent with international best practice, that safeguard the wellbeing of all participants, spectators, and host nation communities during an ICC event, the individuals currently affected are being provided the best possible medical support. (ANI)