Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE senior men’s cricket team coach Lalchand Rajput is hoping that his players will be able to translate their form in domestic cricket to the international stage when the Chevrons tour Sri Lanka next month for three one-day international matches.
The matches, which are part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, are scheduled for January 16, 18 and 21, 2022, at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.
Zimbabwe will start off the new year, with all three games being day-night affairs, and Rajput is confident his charges, most of whom have been in good form on the domestic front, will be up for the challenge in Sri Lanka.
“Every game is very important for us because Super League games will decide who can qualify automatically (for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023), hence it is important that we prepare well and start well,” Rajput said.
“I am a very confident person and always believe that we can beat Sri Lanka considering that we have had good game time playing the Pro50 tournament.”
Zimbabwe have won only two of their nine Super League matches to date, while they also shared spoils in one of the games which were rained off.
“We have not started off well in the Super League, but I am confident that with the players in form during the Pro50 matches we will do well against Sri Lanka.
“If we play our best cricket and to our potential, with our best players, there is every chance that we can qualify directly,” said Rajput.
The Super League is a 13-team competition serving as the main route for qualification for the 2023 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to be staged in India.
The Chevrons are set to face a busy schedule next year as they battle to clear a fixtures backlog in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.
The Chevrons, who were last in action three months ago during the tour of the United Kingdom, will begin the year away in Sri Lanka for a limited overs series.
The series was initially scheduled to be held in 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the tour had to be rescheduled for January 2022.
The Sri Lanka Cricket Board yesterday confirmed that Zimbabwe will arrive in the island nation on January 10.
Plans to stage three T20Is were shelved because of Sri Lanka’s upcoming tour of Australia.
The Chevrons will return home to host Afghanistan later in January for another limited overs series that also encompasses the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League games.
Zimbabwe Cricket are also in talks with Ireland, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh, India and Australia.
Afghanistan have since confirmed they will tour Zimbabwe towards the end of next January.
The Chevrons are part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, which is a qualification pathway to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
The ICC Cricket World Cup Super League is a 13-team tournament that will take place across two years and will determine which teams qualify to the CWC 2023. A team gets 10 points for a win and five for no result.
Zimbabwe currently sit at the bottom of the 13-team table with 25 points from nine games.
They won two games and lost six while one match was declared no result.
They were supposed to play Australia away and India at home last year but the clashes were postponed following the outbreak of the coronavirus.