The Australians and the South Africans are coming. Although the Tri Nation series will be exciting, the main focus will be on the two four-day games involving Australia. The Australians are sending a strong team. Some of the players have represented Australia in both Test and ODI. In addition they have a coach who spent two years coaching in this country. We shall see if the Sabbatical decision was the correct one.
Let’s be certain of one thing, it will be a tough and challenging series for the Zimbabwe team. The major area of focus will be the batting or at least it should be. There is no guarantee that a good batting performance will win you a match. What it will do though, is put you at a good position. For the Zimbabwean batsmen this series will indicate if indeed they have caught up in terms of world cricket.
It would be wrong for anyone to expect much from the team. We have to be realistic, but at the same time, we should not lose hope. The players have to give their best and fight all the way. The selection has got to be fair and correct and players who have performed to date must be rewarded for their efforts.
The biggest challenge for the team will be the psychological aspect of the game, because much is expected of them. Once again the cricket world will be watching to see how the team will perform against Australia and South Africa. There can be no bigger psychological test of the team, before re-entering the Test Cricket scene, than a Tri Nation Series and two four-day games against two of the strongest cricketing nations at present.
As the cricket team is in preparation mode, there is another team, headed by the Zimbabwe Cricket Big Match Committee, which is also facing a task of its own. Their task is to ensure that the first event of a packed international cricket season gets off to a flyer. This team comprises cricket operations, marketing, media, ground staff, and security and of cause the sponsors.
Kombayi is a former Zimbabwe cricket selector