The Chevrons’ long road to redemption

The Chevrons will be spectators with Netherlands, who stole the second slot after Sri Lanka had secured the first, playing on the grand arena.

After disappointing their fervent fans with the heartbreaking end to their quest to win a ticket to the International cricket Council (ICC) World Cup finals in India, the Zimbabwe national cricket team face a long road to redemption.

The team won themselves an army admirers in the nine months coach Dave Houghton has been in charge, playing exciting attacking cricket and had become a force especially playing in front of their ever colourful fans.

Harare Sports Club had suddenly become too small to handle the Chevrons’ followers and the Zimbabwe Cricket had to improvise an overflow facility at the rugby ground where spectators could watch action on the big screen for the qualifying match against the West Indies.

But after the disappointment the Chevrons will need a platform to try redeeming themselves and persuading the fans to reinvest their emotions once again.

They have the T-20 World Cup qualifiers, Africa Region coming up towards the end of the year, but these will be played in Namibia.

At home Ireland is set to tour for one Test match as well as three One Day Internationals and the same number of T-20s, but while a clean sweep cannot patch up the wounds of the World Cup failure, it could help their cause.

They had been penciled to play Asian sides Bangladesh and Afghanistan as part of preparations for the World Cup, but after failing to qualify, those tours have been scrapped.

Cricket Chiefs Tavengwa Mukuhlani and Givemore Makoni are at an ICC meeting in South Africa where they could try and organise matches outside the Future Tours Programme.

The World Cup will play out between October 15 and November 19 with the cream of the crop fighting it out for the glittering silverware.

The Chevrons will be spectators with Netherlands, who stole the second slot after Sri Lanka had secured the first, playing on the grand arena.

It will certainly be a bitter pill to swallow for Zimbabwe especially considering how they smashed the Dutch by six wickets in their Group A match on June 20 at the Harare Sports Club on June 20.

With a perfect record from Group A, they flew into the Super Sixes with four points, the same as Sri Lanka yet what followed resembled an extract from a horror movie for the fans.

To many, qualification to the global showcase hinged on beating West Indies or Sri Lanka or both and when the Chevrons defeated the Caribbean side in their Group match at well as Netherlands, Nepal  and sorry US, it seemed they had laid a red carpet to India.

After came through unscathed against Oman in their first Super Six match despite a scare, the defeat to Sri Lanka didn’t matter much to many as there was still the small matter of Scotland to take care of.

But the brilliant bowling fast bowling spell by Chris Sole who wiped out Zimbabwe’s top three as Zimbabwe chased a winning target of 235 ripped the script apart.

The hosts lost the first four wickets for just 37 runs and while Ryan Burl  (83 runs) and Wessley Madhevere tried to pull it out of the fire it all ended in tears following a 31 run defeat which marked the end of the road.

That spell by Sole will haunt the Zimbabweans, who had been captivated by the Chevrons, for another four years, just like that defeat to the UAE, of all teams,  in 2018.

The bright part of the story for the Chevrons is that they will host the next edition of the World Cup together with Namibia and South Africa and will not have to go through the nerve wrecking qualifiers.

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