DHAKA — Like Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, Zimbabwean captain Brendan Taylor too has expressed his concerns about fighting it out with associate nations in the preliminary round for a chance to join the eight other Test nations in the second round of the ICC World Twenty20 next year.
The Daily Star
Taylor, who is currently in Bangladesh to play the Dhaka Premier League for Prime Bank Cricket Club told The Daily Star that he only became aware of the qualifying system last week.
“I don’t agree with the system. I understand where this is coming from, but honestly speaking, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are Test playing nations, so I don’t see the point in that. But these decisions are not up to us and we just have to go there and play well,” said Taylor.
Mushfiqur had said last week that he had never heard of a system where the host nation would have to qualify to play in the final round of a tournament.
The advantage though for Taylor and Co is that there are a number of Zimbabwean national players who are in town to play the Dhaka League. The likes of Sikandar Raza and Hamilton Masakadza have the opportunity to adjust to the conditions ahead of the World T20.
Taylor himself got off to a brilliant start on Friday when he scored 86 and was involved in three dismissals as wicketkeeper against Cricket Coaching School.
“It was a good start. But I am just getting used to the conditions, the heat and the humidity. It’s a lot hotter here than the last time I came to play the BPL here,” he remarked.
The Zimbabwean captain arrived on the back of the team’s celebrated win in the second and last Test against Pakistan in Harare, their first win against Pakistan since 1998. The win fetched a significant lead — worth 24 rating points — over Bangladesh in the Test rankings. Taylor however does not feel that the bridge between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have widened.
“Look, we have definitely improved a lot as a team over the years, we had a lot of heart in beating Pakistan. Bangladesh bowl well in their conditions and it would certainly be a lot harder for us to beat them in Bangladesh,” said Taylor, adding that the Tigers have a good opportunity to improve their rankings during the New Zealand series in October.
Celebrations of Zimbabwe’s win were, however, curbed due to the board’s fragile financial situation. The players had almost boycotted the Pakistan series due to payment issues.
“I feel that cricket has definitely progressed, but the financial situation is obviously not great and we need to get out of this rut. Hopefully the board will honour their commitments,” said Taylor.
“These are some things that we can’t control. The best we can do is to go out there and put in good performances so that we have a bargaining power with the board and come to the party so to speak,” he added.
The financial issue recently compelled Zimbabwean pacer Kyle Jarvis to retire from international cricket at 24 after he decided to sign a three-year contract with Lancashire, citing job security concerns.
“We don’t have a big pool of players, so it’s not ideal when we lose such good bowlers. He is 24 and he was looking for a bit of stability, but three years on, maybe Zimbabwe cricket can have an open policy for him,” said Taylor, who had turned down a similar offer to play in England.
“I personally love representing my country and leading my team. I am sure that the board’s situation will improve,” he added.