Harare - After enduring a two-month long cricket drought which felt like hell following their ban by the International Cricket Council, Zimbabweans are in jubilation after the embargo was lifted early this week.
The second biggest game in the country had been frozen, threatening the livelihood of hundreds of thousands directly or otherwise after the ICC had suspended Zimbabwe's membership citing government interference.
The action was triggered by the country's Sports and Recreation Commission's move to suspend the game's leadership due to some “irregularities”.
But the ICC reacted with venom, banning the game until certain conditions, including the reinstatement of the suspended leadership, had been met.
The country reacted swiftly and were deemed fit to rejoin the game's world governing body and were duly readmitted.
However, several opportunities were left to burn in the two months Zimbabwe was outside the house.
The national ladies' senior team was hit the most.
They looked well on course for their maiden qualification for the Twenty20 ICC Women’s World Cup after they whitewashed their continental fellows in Harare in the regional qualifiers in May.
They were poised to do well in the global qualifiers which took place during the time Zimbabwe was under the ICC sanctions.
Unfortunately, they couldn't be part of that cast and the players who were earning a monthly salary from the money channeled by the ICC couldn't get anything since the body had frozen the facility as well.
The senior men's team, the Chevrons, weren't spared either as they saw several opportunities flying through the proverbial window.
Domestic leagues suffered the same fate while players and officials had pre-arranged assignments cancelled.
But the country were afforded a huge sigh as the ICC announced the lifting of the punishment early in the week.
Some took to the streets, others to the iconic home of cricket, the Harare Sports Club, and others to social media to celebrate the development.
Lady Chevrons captain Mary-Anne Musonda said the suspension affected their rhythm but they are looking forward to a better future nonetheless.
"The ban was hell. It affected the Lady Chevrons the most. You never know but we were well positioned to book our maiden ticket to the Twenty20 ICC World Cup. We were so close. It could have been good if we had failed at our own but the fact that it had to happen this way is really hurting. But we are very happy we were finally given some reprieve. We will be looking forward to doing well in future assignments," she said.
The local league is set to resume while the national teams will also be gearing themselves for international tours as it feels normal again in the domestic cricket scene.