Tuskers ready for USA test Tuskers celebrate a wicket against Eagles at Harare Sports Club this year.

Brandon Moyo, [email protected]

TUSKERS team is confident of giving the United States of America (USA) national cricket team a run for their money when the two sides meet in a practice match today at the renowned Old Mutual Academy in Bulawayo.

The Bulawayo based Tuskers side has been putting in the hard work in preparation for the match. The experience of playing in Bulawayo will also be handy for Tuskers, who will go into the match as the underdogs.

Tuskers coach, Thabo Mboyi said despite going into the game as underdogs, there is room for a surprise as he expects his boys to give their all in the field and work for a positive result. He is impressed with the way things have been going building up to the match.

“The preparations have gone quite well, considering the fact that we knew about this while there was time so I can’t really complain. All is well, the facilities are great.

“I can say we are underdogs because we are a bit one level or two below the USA, so we are underdogs but you will never know, underdogs can always disappoint. The most important thing is for guys to give their all, at the end of the day whether we win or lose, its how we lose but we want a positive result,” said Mboyi.

Playing against an international side that will compete in the World Cup Qualifiers will be a good opportunity for some of the Tuskers youngsters to prove themselves and give their all in the field. The team is made up of fairly young players which Mboyi believes will also assist in planning for the next domestic season. During their practice sessions, they have been under the stewardship of Mboyi who is working with Chris Mpofu and Flemming Nkomo.

“The games are important, it’s for guys to make a name for themselves, can you imagine if you take a fifer or score a hundred against a side that is going to be in the World Cup qualifiers. I think it would mean a lot so these are going to be serious games,” said Mboyi.

The second and final practice match will take place on Saturday at the same venue and after its completion, the focus, for USA, will shift to the official warm-up matches where they will play against Ireland on 13 June at Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) before going on to face Sri Lanka two days later at the same venue.

In other World Cup Qualifiers preparation news, ticket sales for group matches involving Zimbabwe, the Super Six and the final have gone on sale. However, all group matches not involving Zimbabwe will be free of charge.

For the group matches involving Zimbabwe as well as all the Super Six fixtures and the final at Harare Sports Club, tickets are going for US$2 (rest of ground), US$5 (grass embankment and TICSA grandstand) and US$10 (Centurion).

At Queens Sports Club, fans will pay US$2 (rest of ground) and US$5 (grandstand) to watch all the Super Six matches. Cricket enthusiasts can now buy their match-day tickets in advance online at the cricket world cup website. Subject to availability, tickets will also be sold at the venue gates on match-days.

The 10-team tournament is set to commence on June 18 with the teams fighting to secure the two remaining slots to the World Cup in India in October.

The 10 nations were split into two groups of five with Group A made up of the United States of America (USA), Nepal, Netherlands, West Indies and the hosts, Zimbabwe. Group B consists of Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Group A matches will be played in Harare at Harare Sports Club and Takashinga Cricket Club while Group B games will take place in Bulawayo at Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC). – @brandon_malvin– @brandon_malvin

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