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Zimbabwe Cricket announces new T20I captain

Zimbabwe Cricket announces new T20I captain

In preparation for the 2024 T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has made a strategic move by appointing Sikandar Raza as the new captain of their T20I cricket team. This decision comes on the heels of an unexpected defeat in a five-match T20I series against Namibia, where Zimbabwe lost 3-2. The defeat prompted ZC to make several crucial changes, with Raza stepping into the role of captaincy.

Raza’s appointment as captain marks a significant shift, as he takes over from Craig Ervine, who will continue to lead the team in Test and ODIs. Ervine had an impressive 54% win rate as the T20I captain, the highest among Zimbabwe’s T20I leaders, while Raza had only captained the side in four T20Is as a stand-in.

Zimbabwe’s T20 journey has had its share of ups and downs. In the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, they caused a major upset by defeating Pakistan, but despite their efforts, they couldn’t secure direct qualification for the 2024 T20 World Cup, which will be hosted in the United States of America (USA) and the West Indies. They finished at the bottom of their group, and this setback has made the Africa Qualifier all the more critical for their World Cup aspirations.

In a twist of fate, Zimbabwe faced a ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC) during the 2021 T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman due to government interference in their cricketing body. Now, their focus is on securing one of the remaining two spots in the upcoming Africa qualifiers.

The Africa qualifiers will feature Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Namibia, all vying for those last two coveted spots. The 20 qualifying teams will be divided into four groups of five, and the top two teams from each group will advance to the Super 8 round. From there, it’s a battle for supremacy, with the top two teams making their way to the semi-finals and eventually competing for a chance to play in the final. The road to the 2024 T20 World Cup is filled with excitement and uncertainty, and Zimbabwe are determined to seize this opportunity to make their mark on the global stage.

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Pakistan’s qualification scenario after winning versus New Zealand