Sierra Leone Out of Cricket Tourney

SIERRA Leone will not take part in the 2014 Pepsi International Cricket Council (ICC) Africa Under-19 Division-Two qualifying tournament that starts in Lusaka today due to the Ebola outbreak in that country.
And Zambia, led by team captain Chetan Reddy, will open the quest to make ICC Division-One pool with a tie against neighbours Tanzania at Metropolitan Sports Club this morning.
The only other game of the day will also see Rwanda take on Mozambique at Lotus Cricket Club with the first two teams from this tournament moving on to the ICC Africa Division-One.
Zambia Cricket Union (ZCU) president Reuben Chama confirmed yesterday that the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone had made the Zambian Government, the ICC and his union uncomfortable on allowing the West Africans to be part in this tournament.
“We finally got the response we were waiting for on the Ebola outbreak and Sierra Leone participation and we would like to announce that Sierra Leone will not be coming. It’s sad not to have them here but it was a move that was for the good of all,” he said.
Chama said Sierra Leone was devastated at being told they were not coming especially that this is happening at the last minute.
He said this in Lusaka yesterday when Mount Meru Group of Companies donated K10, 000 to the ZCU towards the hosting of the tournament.
Chama expressed gratitude at Mount Meru Group for aiding his union saying the response from the private community towards the hosting of the tournament was overwhelming and humbling.
“I must state here honestly that I am humbled at this gesture from Mount Meru to assist us in putting this tournament together. We are happy to have you as a sponsor and we hope to have you for a long time.
Lately we lost contact with the private community over cricket sponsorship but I can see that you have come back and we can assure that things will better now. It’s a good link we are having back,” he said.
Mount Meru Miller managing director Himanshu Shah said the Mount Meru Group was pleased to be part of cricket as it was a way of seeing the youth stay healthy, fit and away from bad vices.
“We are happy to be part of this great tournament involving a body as big as the ICC. We are also proud to be helping to keep the youngsters fit and health and all the best to Zambia,” Shah said.
Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson Haroon Ghumra said with the K10, 00 fillip from the Mount Meru Group, the committee had exceeded its target budget of K180, 000.
“I am proud to announce that we have not just met our budgeted requirement but slightly exceeded it. We are happy with the response from Government and business community towards our cause,” he said.
One of the biggest headaches was local transport for all the teams and officials but that the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ), Ministry of Sports had given the LOC some busses, a move Ghumra said relieved a lot of pressure of the organisers.

 
Source : The Times of Zambia

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