Waller banks on DPL exposure

Following a five-month hiatus from the international scene, Zimbabwe cricket coach Andy Waller feels the participation of six of his players in the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) will help his side during next year’s T-20 World Cup in Bangladesh

BY MICHAEL MADYIRA

Zimbabwe goes to the World Cup next February, in what would be their first appearance on the international stage since last month’s inspiring home series against Pakistan.

They were scheduled to engage Sri Lanka in two Tests, three one day internationals (ODIs) and two T-20 matches this month, but the series did not materialise.

Batsmen Brendan Taylor, Hamiliton Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura, Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza and all-rounder Sean Williams are currently taking part in the DPL.

Williams was the pick of the Zimbabwean crop last week, after claiming seven wickets that included an epic hat-trick for his side Brothers Union’s nine wicket win over Kalabagan Cricket Academy.

After a horrible show at last year’s T-20 World Cup in Sri Lanka, Waller’s six men who are currently subjected to a slow wicket under hot, humid and spin friendly Bangladesh conditions could grow in confidence at the face of South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan, India and Ireland whom they are scheduled to play against next year.

“It is obviously a huge advantage. The boys are going to get used to different wickets and conditions in Bangladesh. I hope their experience there will work to our advantage,” said Waller.

With more of an advantage going to the batting line-up, as the batsmen are gaining more experience at the DPL under subcontinent conditions that favour spin bowlers, Waller wishes if more of his spinners were there.

Zimbabwe’s spin bowlers of Prosper Utseya, Tino Mutombodzi and Ntsai Mushangwe are inactive and could be affected by the delay in the domestic cricket start.

“Yes, I would have wished to have more of the spinners in there (DPL), but am sure the batsmen are getting used to subcontinent conditions. It is a good chance for them to learn a lot. I am sure we will be a good side when we go to the World Cup,” said Waller.

After drawing the Test series with Pakistan and beating the Asians in one of the short versions of the game, Waller believes his side has tremendously improved.

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