The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Sports Editor
WITH the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 in Zimbabwe just 100 days away, excitement has already started building up with the hosts promising to stage yet another tournament to remember.
The event, which will decide the final two participants for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India later in the year, is scheduled for 18 June to 9 July in Harare and Bulawayo. Host tournament director Hamilton Masakadza, who played for Zimbabwe at the last edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier that was also staged in the country in 2018, is looking forward to delivering a world-class event.
“We are thrilled to be hosting a tournament of such magnitude and global significance, bringing together 10 teams boasting some of the world’s most gifted and talented players to fight it out in Harare and Bulawayo for two places at the World Cup. We now have 100 days to go and, needless to say, we are working round the clock to spruce up our facilities to ensure, come June, we are ready to deliver yet another unforgettable event — bigger and better than last time.”
The 10 teams that will feature in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 will be confirmed soon.
They will include the five bottom teams on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League table, the top three teams from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 and the top two teams from the 2023 World Cup Qualifier Playoff.
Zimbabwe’s participation in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 is already confirmed as they are out of contention for direct qualification ahead of their final Super League series at home to the Netherlands this month. The two sides will meet in three ODIs scheduled for 21, 23 and 25 March at Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe head coach Dave Houghton is happy to have another shot at qualifying for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India and he is keen to use the series against the Netherlands as part of his team’s preparations for the qualifying tournament on home soil.
“We will have to qualify for this year’s World Cup and these games are the beginning of that run in for us. We need to continue winning, particularly at home
. The Dutch are a formidable outfit, and call on experience from all round the world.”
Zimbabwe will be looking forward to making full use of home advantage to make sure that they qualify for the 50 over World Cup having been absent from the last global showpiece in England in 2019. It was the first time that Zimbabwe were missing from the tournament as they present from 1983 up to 2015.
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