Sunday, May 19, 2024

Captains on Safari ahead of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 in Zimbabwe

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Photo Credit: ICC

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 is set to begin in Harare as captains of the 10 teams came together to experience Zimbabwe’s local wildlife ahead of the event that will be played from 18 June – 9 July.

  • Images of all 10 captains interacting with local wildlife in Harare available here
  • ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 begins tomorrow
  • Opening matchday sees hosts Zimbabwe face Nepal and West Indies take on the USA
  • Full match schedule and live scores on http://cricketworldcup.com

Each match will be high stakes, with teams contesting for two places at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India that gives the two victors nine guaranteed matches at cricket’s ODI global showpiece.

While the players will be the main attraction when the Qualifier begins tomorrow, the captains were keen spectators at the official photoshoot at Wild is Life sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to rescued animal orphans, including elephants, giraffes and lions and aims to rehabilitate these animals back into the wild.

The cricket will again take centre stage as Group A gets underway, with a full-house expected when hosts Zimbabwe take on Nepal at Harare Sports Club. Also on the opening matchday, two-time champions West Indies face neighbours United States at Takashinga. All matches commence at 09h00 local time.

The Netherlands are the final team from Group A and will play their opening match on Tuesday, 20 June against Zimbabwe.

There is another World Cup winning outfit in Group B, with 1996 champions Sri Lanka kicking off proceedings in Bulawayo against the United Arab Emirates on Monday, 19 June. Sri Lanka and UAE are joined in Group B by Ireland, Oman and Scotland.

Each team has played two warm-up fixtures, with the West Indies, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka winning two from two, while the Netherlands and Nepal will also both enter the group stages on the back of victories in their second fixture.

QUOTES FROM THE CAPTAINS

Zimbabwe Captain Craig Ervine: “Preparations have been excellent leading up to the tournament. There is some really exciting cricket coming up and exciting players to watch in Sikandar Raza, Blessing Muzarabani and Sean Williams. It’s going to be a great tournament.”

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie: “We are really looking forward to playing cricket in Zimbabwe, it is a great place to play. We were here in January, playing some ODIs and T20s. Having played in this competition before in 2018 I know how cutthroat it is so we have to be at our best for a long period of time.”

Nepal Captain Rohit Paudel: “For the past couple of years we have been really working hard for this tournament and finally we have got this opportunity. We respect this opportunity and we want to make the most of it. We all are very excited to play against some good cricketing nations and are looking forward to the tournament.”

Netherlands Captain Scott Edwards: I am confident with the squad we have brought to Zimbabwe. We have prepared for these conditions and had success in our practice matches heading into the tournament. These World Cup Qualifiers are always tough but we believe the brand of cricket we are playing is capable of winning this tournament.

Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood: “We have been preparing well to acclimatize and adapt to the conditions in Zimbabwe. We certainly are looking forward to playing the highest order of competitive cricket at this marquee event and will make our country proud. The Qualifiers is certainly a platform for us as well to inspire the sport of cricket in Oman.”

Scotland captain Richie Berrington: ‘’Preparations in Harare have gone well, and we appreciate the hospitality so far. We are aware that each game will have its own challenges, however we have a great mix of experience and youth within the squad to be successful in the tournament.”

Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka: “We are very confident of doing well in the Qualifiers and used the two warm-ups to get our boys into match situations, and the team is looking forward to the games coming up. We also know that every team taking part in this competition is aiming to win, which means that no opponent can be taken lightly, especially in a crucial tournament such as this, and we are well aware of it.”

UAE Captain Mohammad Waseem: “We are fully focused and committed on giving our absolute best in the tournament. We are aware of what lies ahead for us in terms of the pedigree and experience of our opponents. We also have some incredibly talented youngsters in Ali Naseer, Jawadullah and Aayan Afzal Khan and I have no doubt that they will showcase their talent and prove their worth to the side in these big games.”

USA captain Monank Patel: “It’s a huge 12 months for cricket in the USA starting with this Qualifier and leading into the T20 World Cup that we will co-host next year. We are all feeling positive about our chances here in Zimbabwe and look forward to showing what we are capable of on the world stage. We can feel something special growing in this group and this event is the perfect springboard for us to take our cricket to the next level.”

West Indies captain Shai Hope: “Preparation has been going well. As a team, we are focusing on mindset and consistent execution. We have a number of impact players, so any one of them can win us a game at any stage of the tournament.”

COMPETITION FORMAT

The top three sides in each group will advance to the Super Six stage, with the bottom two sides in each group playing off to decide the seventh to 10th placings.

At the Super Six stage, the teams will play the three qualifiers from the other group, with the two results against teams from their own group carrying forward from the group stage. The Super Six stage will commence on 29 June and for the first time in this tournament, DRS will be used for all matches from this stage onwards.

The top two teams after the Super Six stage will be able to book their tickets to India as the two qualifiers for the Cricket World Cup 2023.

They will also play off to be crowned Qualifiers champion in the final on 9 July.

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