Chatonzwa in race against time for WC Qualifier Christabel Chatonzwa

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

LADY Chevrons coach Adam Chifo is keeping his fingers crossed over the availability of one of his experienced players, Christabel Chatonzwa, for the upcoming ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021.

The right hand batter has started training with the squad after recovering from a calf strain she picked two months ago, during the successful ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier Africa, in Botswana.

Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano also suffered a multiple-fracture injury to her left foot, at the same event, and has been ruled out of the upcoming series against Bangladesh, and the World Cup Qualifier.

South Africa-based top-order batter, Sharne Mayers, is available after missing previous national team assignments.

But, talented spinner Anesu Mushangwe, who is making waves in Australia, is still unavailable.

“We are fortunate to have Sharne Mayers back,” said Chifo.

“She will definitely be a big boost in our batting line-up and in terms of experience. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Anesu back, but we have got good enough armour, in terms of spin, to cover that area.

“We are also happy Christabel Chatonzwa has recovered from injury and is in camp.

‘‘Hopefully, she will be 100 percent fit when the tournament starts. I think we have most of our players except for Anesu and Chipo Mugeri.”

The Lady Chevrons have established base in Bulawayo, where they are set to host Bangladesh next week, in a three-match series to fine-tune for the World Cup Qualifier.

Zimbabwe will host the 10-team tournament in Harare later this month.

“Obviously, with us, we have said to ourselves fitness is a continuous and ongoing thing,’’ said Chifo.

‘‘There is an improvement from where we left off, in the last tournament, but we are still working on our fitness, going forward.

“The Bangladesh series will mark the final tour for us, in terms of our preparation, so this is the time we need to fine-tune whatever plans that we have got, and whatever processes that we are going to apply, in the tournament.

“So, we will use the series as the last part of our preparations. We are grateful to be playing Bangladesh because they are quite an experienced side.

“They have been to the big tournaments; they have been to the World Cup more than us. They have more experience, so we are looking forward to getting as much as we can from them, so that we prepare ourselves for the big tournament.”

Interestingly, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were also drawn in Group B of the World Cup Qualifier.

The other teams in the group are Pakistan, Thailand and USA.

Group A has West Indies, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Netherlands.

There is no knockout stage in the competition, with the preliminary round followed by a Super Six stage to decide the final positions.

The top three nations will proceed to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 to be held in New Zealand between March and April next                                                                                year.

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