Lady Chevrons set sights on historic World Cup qualification in the United Arab Emirates Lady Chevrons engaged in a team talk during their recent ODI against Papua New Guinea

Brandon Moyo, [email protected] 

THE Zimbabwe senior women’s national cricket team is buoyed by the belief that this year could mark their inaugural participation in an International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup event, as they intensify their training for the upcoming T20 World Cup Global Qualifiers. 

The Lady Chevrons have yet to compete in any World Cup, whether in T20 or 50-over formats, and are eager to overcome past hurdles and secure their spot in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where they will vie for the final two berths to Bangladesh alongside nine other contenders. 

Guided by coach Walter Chawaguta, the Lady Chevrons’ journey commences tomorrow with their departure for the UAE, where a 10-day training camp awaits them before the commencement of their official warm-up matches. 

In preparation, the team has engaged in several series against Ireland and Papua New Guinea, as well as participating in the African Games. 

Their most recent challenge was against Papua New Guinea, where they performed admirably, clinching victories in both the T20I and One Day International (ODI) series. 

Bolstered by their recent success against Papua New Guinea, the team reconvened yesterday. 

During their previous attempt at qualification in 2022, the Lady Chevrons narrowly missed out against Ireland, losing by a mere four runs, with current head coach Chawaguta serving as the fielding coach at the time. 

Reflecting on past performances, Chawaguta is confident that they have addressed their errors and must rely on their refined strategy to succeed. 

Lady Chevrons celebrating a wicket

The esteemed coach asserts that his team possesses the necessary skills to triumph, but emphasises the importance of focusing on one match at a time and maintaining discipline, which he considers a crucial factor in securing victories.

“After the Papua New Guinea series we gave the players some time to rest and they regrouped on Friday. There are things that we can’t control (losing the decider in 2022) but we have to focus on our process. We are good enough to qualify, we have the quality and that’s where the process is. 

“We need to take each game as it comes and not look too far ahead. Discipline is key and it’s one of the things that we have been talking about. We should not give too much away and whatever the opposition gets, it should never be too much. We shouldn’t give many extras; we need a bare minimum in that. Doing small things well is crucial and if we do them well, we will be okay,” said Chawaguta. 

Chawaguta acknowledged the presence of minor injuries among some players, which are under close observation. However, he remains optimistic that, come the tournament’s opening match, the entire squad will be in peak condition and eager to compete. 

He also noted the extensive efforts underway to ensure that every aspect is optimised for the team to deliver their utmost performance on the field.

“We have to look after some players with niggles. Ashley Ndiraya has joined the team but is not yet 100% fit. However, she has been doing well in the nets and that is a good thing. Sharne Mayers and Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano are also back with the team, which is a major boost as well. Despite not being at 100%, work has been going on to make sure that we strengthen the team. 

“We are okay. A lot of work is going on to see if all is well and that everyone is ready,” said Chawaguta. 

The tournament is pencilled to start on April and 25 the Lady Chevrons are in Group B alongside Ireland, Netherlands, Vanuatu and the hosts, UAE. Group A is made up of Uganda, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Thailand and the United States of America (USA). 

The top two teams from each group will proceed to the semi-finals with the winners booking their tickets to Bangladesh, joining the likes of New Zealand, Australia, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and the West Indies at the global showpiece. 

Zimbabwe will begin their campaign against Vanuatu at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday, April 25 before going on to face UAE a day later on Saturday, April 27 at Tolerance Oval. Their third game will be a test against Ireland at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday, April 29. They will conclude their group games against Netherlands on Wednesday, May 1 at Tolerance Oval. 





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