The national Under-19 cricket team will be hoping for a bright start when they meet hosts South Africa in the first encounter of the Tri-Nation Under-19s tournament tomorrow.
The competition also features Pakistan at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.
Zimbabwe are using the triangular series as part of their preparations for August’s International Cricket Council’s Under-19 World Cup in Australia where they were drawn in Group D alongside Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bangladesh and Namibia.
The young team, coached by the former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris, will be hoping for a better performance as they have found the going tough in previous visits to South Africa. Last year the Under-19s lost a five-match series to South Africa back-to-back.
The Zimbabwe team, which left the country over the weekend, will play a total of six matches starting tomorrow until January 18.
Mountaineers’ Kevin Kasuza — who has been a revelation at the Mutare-based franchise this season after helping his team to some crucial wins in domestic competitions, including the Stanbic Twenty20 title — is one of the most experienced players in the Zimbabwe side.
Meanwhile Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Saturday announced the 15-strong South Africa Under-19 squad for the triangular series. The squad will be led in the series by their most experienced player, Quinton de Kock of the Highveld Lions.
De Kock represented the South African Schools’ side in 2010 and also made his senior franchise debut for the Lions in this season’s CSA one-day competition.
The squad was announced at the conclusion of the CSA Franchise Cubs Week in Stellenbosch.
Zimbabwe Under-19 squad: Mathew Bentley (captain), James Bruce, Kyle Bowie, Ryan Burl, Atish Choughan, Shaun Handirisi, Malcolm Lake, Light Campbell, Luke Jongwe, Charles Kunje, Kevin Kasuza, Andre Odendaal, Peacemore Zimwa, Liberty Nherera, Luke Masasire