HARARE – The Zimbabwe senior women cricket team is targeting to tour South Africa and Asia for a series of warm-up matches in preparation of the 10-team ICC Women’s World Cup Global Qualifiers in 2017 in Sri Lanka.
In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Zimbabwe team manager Caroline Nyamande said they want to have ample time to prepare for the tournament.
“We have just won the Africa Qualifiers and are recuperating from this, so preparations are yet to begin though there is nothing to delay us,” Nyamande said.
“The girls continuously train in their different provinces, we shall start our monthly training camps and we are hoping to tour South Africa and Asia for a series of warm-up matches and preparatory games before the qualifiers. We target Asia to acclimatise ourselves with their conditions.”
Nyamande also said it is an honour to have qualified for the next stage of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers despite other challenges.
“It is a good feeling to win the qualifiers again for the fourth time in a row. The only difference is that this time it happened at home,” she said.
“We beat the other teams by strong margins just to showcase our talent as Women Cricket players and to publicise the game of cricket in style.”
She added that next year’s target is to qualify for the global showpiece to be held in England. However, she believes that they will achieve this by playing more warm-up matches.
“Come competition, we know what to expect. Last year, we came third in the qualifiers and yet the top two teams qualified,” she said.
“Even though we did not qualify, we missed by a very small margin. As we prepare, we want to polish up everything to avoid the near margins and make it.”
She also added that even if the country is facing an economic meltdown and other problems, full support from everyone is required.
“We have a very committed and talented team that must need that support to go it all the way,” Nyamande said.
“Resources can be a setback but we are home to make better preparations this time around. A lot of training programmes, games and support is the way to go.”
The Zimbabwe women topped the points table during the Africa Regional Qualifiers held in Harare last month after six straight wins.