Muzarabani fired up for debut World Cup

Blessing Muzarabani

ZIMBABWE’S cricket ace Blessing Muzarabani is fired up for his debut ICC Men’s T20 World Cup as the country makes its first appearance at the biennial competition in six years.

The T20 World Cup which kick-off next week in Australia is scheduled to run from October 16 to November 13 across five cities namely Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Zimbabwe will compete in the first round of the competition where they were drawn in Group B alongside West Indies, Ireland and Scotland.

Only the top two teams in each group will progress to the Super-12 stage of the competition.

The Chevrons left the country for Australia on Friday afternoon and are scheduled to play two warm up matches against Sri Lanka and Namibia before their opening World Cup tie against Ireland at the Bellerive Oval, in Hobart on October 17.

Initially scheduled for tomorrow in Melbourne, the warm up match against Sri Lanka has been moved to Tuesday while the team is set to play Namibia on Thursday.

Muzarabani, who is one of the key players for Zimbabwe, spoke to reporters at the Robert Mugabe International Airport before the  team’s departure for the T20 World Cup.

“First of all I am really happy to get the opportunity to go there but mostly I am looking to win the first three games and hopefully we are going to qualify (for the Super 12 stage) that is my focus right now,” the 26 year old star seamer said.

The Chevrons were sweating on the availability of Muzarabani who was injured during the semi-final match against Papua New Guinea at the T-20 World Cup qualifying tournament in Bulawayo back in July.

The player went on to miss home tours against Bangladesh and India as well as the trip to Austria for a three match ODI series which concluded late last month.

At their last T20 World Cup appearance in India back in 2016, the Chevrons failed to go past the first round and will be looking to reach the Super 12 stage this time around.

But giants West Indies as well as two teams ranked below Zimbabwe Ireland and Scotland stand in the way.

“I am not really looking at any of our opponents. I just want to take it game by game, win after game (and) win after win. I am not really looking at it to say this team is tough I am just going to take all teams the same. I have been working hard behind the scenes hopefully and I am going to preform very well.

“The team has been working hard behind the scenes also and I am happy that we have got a lot of wins especially after the qualifiers but I am just hoping that we are going to carry on, keep winning. The atmosphere in the changing room is looking good so hopefully we are going to put a good show,” Muzarabani said.

To their credit, the Chevrons have been in top form in the format winning seven of their last eight matches.

Muzarabani has played 26 T20is since making his debut in 2018 and has grabbed 30 wickets to date.

Only four players namely captain Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Siakandar Raza and Luke Jongwe were part of the Chevrons squad in India six years ago.

Zimbabwe Squad: Craig Ervine (captain), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Tony Munyonga, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Sean Williams

Non-travelling reserves: Tanaka Chivanga, Innocent Kaia, Kevin Kasuza, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Victor Nyauchi.

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