NATIONAL Under-19 cricket team coach Walter Chawaguta will have an opportunity to measure his World Cup-bound team’s level of preparedness when they take on South African Under-19 franchise teams at the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Franchise Cubs Week in Stellenbosch early next month.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The CSA Franchise Cubs week tournament which features the best Under-19 players from within each of South Africa’s sevens franchise teams will take place from January 5-9.
It will be the national Under-19 team’s last competitive tournament before the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates from February 14 to March 1. Besides, Zimbabwe, other teams include Cape Cobras, Warriors, Dolphins, Knights, Lions, Titans and South Africa’s Under-17 team.
Chawaguta said the Cubs week would give his charges an opportunity to some much-needed practice and confidence ahead of the World Cup.
“The tournament is well-placed as it gives us confidence and much-needed match practice ahead of the World Cup. The Cubs week is a tough competition as they use it as a final selection process for their World Cup squad. Boys turn out wanting to make a strong and convincing impression on the selectors and, therefore, the standard of play is bound to be high,” said Chawaguta.
All-rounder, Malcolm Lake, who was part of the national squad at the last edition of the World Cup in Australia, will captain Zimbabwe’s Cubs Week squad.
Middle order batsman Ryan Burl, who was the team’s best performer at Quadrangular Under-19 Series held in India in October, is also expected to play a key role for Zimbabwe together with the likes of Luke Jongwe and Cuthbert Musoko.
Zimbabwe’s youth team was recently drawn in Group C alongside Canada, South Africa and West Indies for the World Cup and open their campaign against the Canadians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 14.
Zim Under-19 Cubs Week Squad: Malcolm Lake, Luke Jongwe, Dylan Nel, Stephen Kanhukamwe, Kieran Geyle, Joylord Gumbie, Charles Kunje, Patrick Mambo, Cuthbert Musoko, Hebert Chikomba, Alexander Bell, Ryan Burl, Tarisai Musakanda, Dylan Hondo, Mkhululi Nyathi