STILL bubbling from their confidence-boosting five-wicket victory over Australia at the just ended International Cricket Council World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa, Zimbabwe are preparing to host Sri Lanka A.
ify>The stakes will definitely be high for both sides as the hosts are out to prove to the world that beating Australia in the shortest and newest version of the game was no fluke and translate their giant killing act to the longer version, while Sri Lanka warned that they would not be taking the meeting lightly and promised to field their strongest possible sides for the two four-day and three one-day matches.
Under the tutelage of new coach, Robin Brown, success against Sri Lanka will be a move in the right direction as Zimbabwe seeks to expedite its return to the Test fold after nearly three years of self-imposed exile.
The former Zimbabwe international is happy with the way preparations for the Sri Lanka A tour are going.
“Preparations are in full swing and the boys are working very hard in camp ahead of the Sri Lanka A tour,” said Brown.
“At the moment, we are just fine-tuning on the batting and bowling technique and the level of commitment being shown by the guys is absolutely amazing.”
He added: “The team is raring to go and I am extremely confident that the outstanding performance in South Africa at the Twenty20 World Cup will spill over into this next assignment. We still have another week of intensive training before the Sri Lanka A side arrives. By then we will be just about ready.
“The only setback has been the injury of top order batsman, Hamilton Masakadza who broke a finger during training and is out of the series. On the plus side, however, Sean Williams has recovered well and is training with the team.”
The month-long tour gets underway with the first four-day game at Harare Sports Club from the October 14 to 17, after which the action will move onto Bulawayo for the second four-dayer which is at the Queens Sports Club from October 20 to 24.
The two sides will then play in the first one-day match at the same venue on October 27 before heading back to the capital for the remaining two fixtures on the October 27 and 30 at Harare Sports Club.