Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER months of preparing and setting their goals, the Zimbabwe women’s cricket team are looking to be in good touch when they host the ICC Women’s Qualifier Africa 2019 which gets underway in Harare this Sunday.
The team’s coach, Adam Chifo, yesterday said they want to use the final week for touch-ups following an extensive preparation that included training camps and regional tours.
Zimbabwe were drawn in a relatively easy group that includes Tanzania, Nigeria, Mozambique and Rwanda for the qualifier.
“Obviously, we have been preparing for some time and, of late, we have been to Uganda where we had a successful tour,’’ he said.
“It was good for our confidence. When we returned, we had a week off just to try and recharge our energy levels. But we are back in camp now and we are in the final week of the preparations where we need to put the final touch-ups. Otherwise we are good to go.’’
Zimbabwe face Mozambique in the opening Group A match at Old Hararians on Sunday.
Group B features Uganda, Kenya, Namibia and Sierra Leone. The group leaders will meet in the final scheduled for Harare Sports Club on May 12, with the winners of the regional T20 tournament proceeding to the next and final qualifying stage, the ICC Women’s Qualifier Global contest.
“Of course, there is a danger of complacency if you win games like we have been doing in the last few months.
“But that is something we have also been addressing as part of our preparations. We have to focus on each and every game as it comes.
“It’s tricky with T20 matches because one incident can change the whole complexion of the game.
“So we just have to play every game as if it’s a final, without unnecessarily having to underrate any of our opponents.
“We have a lot to prove as the host nation. We have been clamouring for ODI status for long and this is the time to demonstrate we deserve to be there among the elite.
“Obviously, when preparing for such an assignment, you get a bit under pressure. It’s something that is expected in professional sport, but we promise our supporters that we will not disappoint them. They should come in numbers to cheer the ladies on,” said Chifo.
Zimbabwe Cricket communications manager Darlington Majonga confirmed all was in place for the tournament.
The games will be played at Harare Sport Club, Old Hararians and Takashinga and will be free of charge to the public.