ZIMBABWE national cricket team captain, Chamu Chibhabha, says the Chevrons are prepared to give their hosts Pakistan a good fight as they look to get their 2023 ICC World Cup campaign on a positive note.
The Chevrons, who have been inactive for the past seven months due to the coronavirus lockdown, left for the Asian country yesterday with a 20-member squad.
The teams will clash in three One Day Internationals and as many T20 Internationals from October 30 to November 10.
The ODI series carries extra significance as it forms part of the inaugural ICC Super League, which will determine the teams that will qualify for the next World Cup in India.
Chibhabha said the players who were immaculately dressed in grey suits as they left the country were excited to tour for the first time since March when they last played in Bangladesh.
“Obviously, the guys are excited to go to Pakistan, the wait is over,” said Chibhabha.
“In a couple of days’ time we will be hitting the ground running. I think we have had a couple of weeks of training, we played a couple of games.
“The National Premier League is on and the guys managed to play a couple of games as well, so the guys are good and ready.
“We have played Pakistan before, and beat them, so we believe we can actually play well, compete and beat them.
“And, considering it’s the Super League games, each game that we play going forward is going to be important, considering that the more games we win gives us a better chance to qualify for the World Cup.”
The Super League is an important tournament on the road to the 2023 World Cup since the matches will carry points.
It features 13 teams, that include the 12 ICC full members and the Netherlands, who qualified by winning the ICC World Cricket Super League 2015-17.
The Super League will see each side play four home and four away three-match series.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the international fixtures, with Zimbabwe having to cancel dates against Ireland, India and Australia, which also fell under the Super League.
Pakistan were also under lockdown but they got the clearance to resume domestic, and international cricket, earlier than their Zimbabwean counterparts.
The Pakistanis have since toured England and played three Tests and three T20Is.
“Obviously, they have managed to play a couple of games and we have just been sitting at home but I feel well prepared.
“We have had our chances to prepare before this tour and I think we had some pretty good match practice and also playing in the NPL helped the guys to get some match practice.
“So the guys are ready,” said Chibhabha.
The touring squad has been built seasoned around campaigners like Brendan Taylor, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams and Elton Chigumbura and Chibhabha.
Fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani has also returned to the side after spending two years playing county cricket in the United Kingdom.
Two uncapped players, Milton Shumba and Faraz Akram also made it into the squad.
The selectors also included other young talents in the form of Wessly Madhevere and Richard Ngarava.
“Every time we have youngsters in the team we try and make them feel comfortable, enjoy their time and enjoy their experience.
“We don’t want to put too much pressure on them. It’s up to the senior players to take responsibility and then the youngsters can just follow behind,” said Chibhabha.
Zimbabwe Squad for Pakistan Tour:
Chamu Chibhabha (Captain), Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams