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Zimbabwe Anticipates Resurgence in Cricket World Cup Qualifiers

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Cricket World Cup qualifiers

The impending retirement of Gary Ballance in April dealt a significant blow to Zimbabwe’s cricket squad and coach Dave Houghton. Nevertheless, Zimbabwe remains optimistic as they prepare for the Cricket World Cup qualifiers.

Houghton, Zimbabwe’s coach, expressed confidence that the nation is ready to challenge the negative global perception, in line with the kick-off of the World Cup qualifiers that Zimbabwe will be hosting from Sunday.

The strong favorites, West Indies and Sri Lanka, are set to compete in the ten-team tournament. Zimbabwe will start the competition with a match against Nepal in Harare.

Houghton, with his experience of 22 Tests and 63 ODIs for Zimbabwe, expressed optimism for a resurgence within the nation’s cricket, as well as an overall revival following a politically turbulent era.

Sport Newes Center Africa quoted Houghton emphasizing Zimbabwe’s safety and positive environment, dismissing the persistently negative press the country receives. Houghton believes that visitors often find the reality of Zimbabwe to be significantly different from the negative portrayals they encounter.

Zimbabwe, previously hosting the World Cup qualifiers in 2018 without advancing, will share hosting responsibilities for the 2027 Cricket World Cup with South Africa and Namibia. This marks a return to the international event stage for Zimbabwe, which co-hosted the 2003 World Cup. This was the tournament remembered for the black armband protest by Zimbabwean cricketers Andy Flower and Henry Olonga against President Robert Mugabe.

Despite years of sanctions from 2002 to 2017, and an unsettled political landscape, some stability has emerged. Zimbabwe faces its next election in August amidst the world’s highest rate of inflation.

Houghton, who has had a coaching stint in England’s County Championship, is making concerted efforts to rebuild confidence for English teams to tour Zimbabwe, not just for Test matches but also for County and school sides. The initiative has seen progress in recent years, with teams like Durham and Glamorgan expressing their appreciation for the country.

In addition to this, upgrades are underway at the major stadium in Harare, including the installation of floodlights.

Former England batsman, Gary Ballance, brought a surge of optimism when he switched his allegiance to Zimbabwe in December, despite retiring four months later. The accomplishment of reaching the Super Sixes in last year’s T20 World Cup, particularly the surprise win against Pakistan, fuels the nation’s hopes.

Zimbabwe last played on the 50-over stage in the 2015 World Cup but was eliminated at the group stage after a solitary win.

The upcoming qualifiers will lead to a Super Sixes stage with the final set for July 9 in Harare. Both finalists will automatically advance to the World Cup in India later this year.

Houghton recognizes the need for a strong start to stand a chance against formidable teams like the West Indies and Sri Lanka.

He insists that a successful qualification wouldn’t be a surprise, and such a victory would cause a tremendous celebration among the fans and supporters of Zimbabwean cricket.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cricket World Cup qualifiers

Who is the coach of Zimbabwe’s cricket team?

Dave Houghton is the coach of Zimbabwe’s cricket team.

What does Dave Houghton say about the safety and environment in Zimbabwe?

Dave Houghton describes Zimbabwe as very calm, safe, and with a good environment, countering the negative global perception often associated with the country.

Who are the favorites to qualify from the upcoming Cricket World Cup qualifiers?

West Indies and Sri Lanka are considered the strong favorites to qualify from the upcoming Cricket World Cup qualifiers.

When and where will the Cricket World Cup qualifiers begin?

The Cricket World Cup qualifiers will begin on Sunday in Zimbabwe.

Who will Zimbabwe be playing against in their first match of the qualifiers?

Zimbabwe will open the tournament with a match against Nepal in Harare.

Who will co-host the 2027 Cricket World Cup?

Zimbabwe will co-host the 2027 Cricket World Cup with South Africa and Namibia.

What is the state of Zimbabwe’s political landscape?

Zimbabwe’s political landscape remains fractious, with an upcoming round of elections in August, amidst the world’s highest inflation rate.

What efforts has Dave Houghton been making for cricket in Zimbabwe?

Dave Houghton has been working to rebuild the confidence of English teams to come and play in Zimbabwe, in addition to upgrading the major stadium in Harare.

What is Zimbabwe’s recent achievement in cricket?

Zimbabwe reached the Super Sixes of last year’s T20 World Cup, where they achieved a surprise win against Pakistan.

What would happen to the finalists of the Cricket World Cup qualifiers?

The finalists of the Cricket World Cup qualifiers will automatically qualify for the World Cup in India later in the year.

More about Cricket World Cup qualifiers

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TravellingMike June 18, 2023 - 12:59 pm

Visited Zim last year, it’s really an underrated destination. Plus, catching a cricket match while you’re there is a must!

PoliticalObserver June 18, 2023 - 2:30 pm

wonder how the upcoming elections gonna affect the team’s morale…let’s hope for the best.

EnglandCricketLover June 18, 2023 - 4:48 pm

Gary Ballance retiring was a bummer, he would’ve brought so much to the team. Still, fingers crossed for Zimbabwe!

SarahMcM June 19, 2023 - 4:44 am

I had no idea Zimbabwe was co-hosting the World Cup in 2027! That’s gonna be huge for them, really hope it goes well.

CricketFan101 June 19, 2023 - 5:16 am

so exciting!! Can’t wait for the qualifiers to start. Go Zimbabwe!!

SportySteve June 19, 2023 - 8:01 am

If Zimbabwe gets through, it’ll be the underdog story of the year. Can’t wait to watch it unfold!

T20SuperFan June 19, 2023 - 9:15 am

That win against Pakistan last year was epic. Hope we see more surprises like that in the qualifiers.


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