HomeSportCricketCaptain Bentley ready for World Cup challenge

Captain Bentley ready for World Cup challenge


Zimbabwe Under-19 cricket team captain Mathew Bentley believes his charges’ underdog tag will work to their advantage during the ninth edition of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Australia, from August 11.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport, ahead of the team’s departure today for Queensland for the high profile tournament, Bentley said his side was capable of causing some upsets.

A team of 15 players and five technical officials will leave the country today via South Africa and Sydney, before connecting to Queensland. “The fact that our opponents know very little about us will definitely work to our advantage,” said Bentley.

“We have been playing together as a team for more than two years now and there is belief among the boys that although we will be one of the less fancied teams in the competition, we can still manage to cause a few upsets.”

Bentley, who is the younger brother to local professional golfer Greg Bentley, said morale among players was high and the players were eager to impress.

“All the players are aware that this is a great opportunity for us to represent our country in a prestigious tournament and we are obviously in high spirits. India and West Indies will obviously be tough opponents, but in competitive sport, you cannot rule out anything and we will be aiming to do well against them,” Bentley said.

Zimbabwe will battle for one of the two quarter-final places with minnows Papua New Guinea, West Indies and two-time champions India in Group C, which means they will have to cause an upset against one of the giants.

India, who to date have won two Under-19 World Cup titles in 2000 and 2008, will be a tough nut to crack while West Indies, who are captained by Test opener Kraigg Brathwaite, will also be tough opponents.

Zimbabwe will be hoping to acclimatise with the conditions in Australia when they play Namibia and England on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively in official friendlies next week, before their first match against Papua New Guinea next Saturday.

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