Chevrons to settle unfinished business
Eddie Chikamhi-Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE cricket team are planning to put the visiting Netherlands cricket side in their right place when the teams meet in a three-match One Day International series that begins at Harare Sports Club this morning.
The Chevrons carry many scars inflicted by the Dutch in recent years. They have not forgotten how the Dutch shattered their Super 12 dream at the last ICC T20 World Cup in Australia with a five-wicket humbling.
Surprisingly, the Dutch also carry a 2-1 advantage in head-to-head, thanks to their 2-0 win in the last ODI series played in Deventer in 2019.
Zimbabwe are using the series as part of their pre preparations for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 which they will host from June 18 to July 9 to decide the final two participants for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 to be held in India later in the year.
Chevrons bowling coach Steve Kirby yesterday said the upcoming series carries a “massive” significance for the home side.
“It’s massive. I mean we mustn’t underestimate the Dutch because they are a good side. We have got unfinished business from the T20 World Cup,” he said.
“We want to show them exactly what we are about now. We have a huge World Cup Qualifying period coming forward. So we have got this series, which is big and then we also got the Pakistan A series coming up, which will be some good warm up games,” said Kirby.
Zimbabwe have selected a strong team for the series.
With Raza and Ryan Burl back from their franchise cricket commitments abroad, the side has also been bolstered by the return from injury of Sean Williams, Tendai Chatara and Muzarabani.
The five players missed the Test series against the West Indies in Bulawayo last month, with Muzarabani having been sidelined since last November when his old quadriceps muscle injury flared up at the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Williams fractured a finger while Chatara suffered a thigh muscle injury during the white-ball series against Ireland in Harare in January. But they are all back.
The selectors have also retained Gary Ballance, Innocent Kaia, Wellington Masakadza and Richard Ngarava in the squad to face the Netherlands.
“It’s just amazing to have all the full strength side back,” said Kirby.
“It’s great competition for places and everybody is so excited for the series coming through. I think we have shown the Zimbabwe population exactly what we are as a team and now it’s time to go out there and entertain even further.
“It’s a brilliant sort of forthcoming up games so whether that be the Netherlands and then coming through to the World Cup Qualifier. It’s a really good opportunity for people to cement their places,” said Kirby.
The Dutch side played a warm-up game against a Zimbabwe XI Select on Sunday and were bowled out for 191 runs in 42.5 overs. The tourists, however, still managed to squeeze home to a nine-runs win, thanks to Paul van Mekeren’s 4-27.
Their captain Scott Edwards yesterday sounded upbeat.
“Firstly for us, we are here to win this series. We obviously know that Zimbabwe have a strong side especially in home conditions. We have had to plan accordingly. We know they are going to be good so we have to play well,” said Edwards.
Zimbabwe ODI squad:
Gary Ballance, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine (captain), Bradley Evans, Innocent Kaia, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams
The Netherlands ODI squad:
Scott Edwards (captain and wicketkeeper), Colin Ackermann, Musa Nadeem Ahmad, Shariz Ahmad, Wesley Barresi, Tom Cooper, Aryan Dutt, Brandon Glover, Vivian Kingma, Fred Klaassen, Ryan Klein, Aryan Dutt, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O’Dowd and Vikram Singh