Harare, July 20 (IANS) Bangladesh will look to carry on from where they had left off on the West Indies tour when they take on Zimbabwe in a limited-overs series beginning in Harare on from July 30.
While Bangladesh lost both the Tests by big margins and also suffered a T20I series defeat against the West Indies, the tourists clean-swept the One-day International component of the tour and are currently in Zimbabwe for a white-ball series that includes three T20Is and an equal number of one-dayers.
Zimbabwe meanwhile are buoyant following the qualification for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, winning the all-important Qualifier B semifinal over Papua New Guinea to secure they place in the showpiece event later this year. Zimbabwe then capped off the campaign with a win over the Netherlands in the tournament final.
Sikandar Raza claimed the ‘Player of the Tournament’ honours at the qualifier, though the entire playing group, led by skipper Craig Ervine, contributed to the success. Sean Williams made an impressive return with the bat, while a number of players contributed in a strong bowling effort, spearheaded by quick Blessing Muzarabani.
Preparing for the T20 World Cup and striving for 2023 Cricket World Cup qualification, Zimbabwe will certainly be battle-hardened, also taking on India and Australia in the next two months after Bangladesh’s visit.
India return after a six-year gap, with their three ODIs part of the ongoing Cricket World Cup Super League. Zimbabwe’s matches against Australia in August and September are part of the same competition, where they lie in 12th position (35 points) with three wins and a no-result, according to ICC.
For now though, Zimbabwe’s focus is firmly on Bangladesh, not only in terms of preparation, but to maintain strong rankings in both formats.
Zimbabwe sit 12th on the ICC T20I Rankings and are on the threshold of potential automatic qualification for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the US, and in 15th in the ODI format, behind fellow Super League contenders Netherlands.