NATIONAL cricket team opening batsman Vusi Sibanda has expressed disappointment at the new 2014 World Twenty20 format to be used at next year’s tournament in Bangladesh.
Though yet to be officially announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC), it has been widely reported in the Bangladesh media that the first stage at the World T20 will see the six associate qualifiers join the hosts and Zimbabwe in a preliminary round.
This will mean Zimbabwe and hosts Bangladesh will need to qualify through the preliminary stage against associate teams to qualify into the 10-team final round.
The top eight Twenty20 full-member sides based on the August 2012 ICC rankings have automatically qualified for the second round of the mega tournament.
The 2014 World Twenty20 tournament which runs between March 16 and April 6 next year was last year expanded from 12 to 16 teams, giving a boost to associate members who want more involvement in the shortest format of the game.
In an interview with the Dhaka Tribune in Bangladesh, where he is taking part in the Dhaka Premier League (DPL), Sibanda said he was not happy with the move.
Sibanda said while the move gives Zimbabwe and Bangladesh teams more matches, he was disappointed that the move was not applicable to all ICC full member nations.
“This will bring more games for the minor countries like us and Bangladesh too. It would have been fair to keep it like it was before or make it that everyone has to qualify to be a part of the tournament. In that way it would have been lot more competitive. We are also Test playing nations so everyone should have been treated the same,” Sibanda said.
Zimbabwe’s recent success over Pakistan has caught everyone’s attention and with a healthy record against Bangladesh, Zimbabwean players have become a target of most clubs in the DPL.
Sibanda is on the books of DPL side, Kalabagan Cricket Academy (KCA) together with Hamilton Masakadza and Sikandar Raza while all-rounder Chigumbura is playing for SK Jamal DC.
Masakadza said the tournament would enable Zimbabwean players to adapt to Bangladesh conditions before the World T20 tournament.
“It is very good that many of our cricketers are getting to play in the Dhaka league. We have the Twenty20 World Cup at this part of the world. So I think it is going to be good for the team when it will be here of the ICC tournament, and at the same time the tournament seems to be on perfect time as we don’t have any cricket to play in or for Zimbabwe, so it also gave us the opportunity to come and play,” said Masakadza.