ZIMBABWE cricket coach Andy Waller wants the 2013/14 domestic T-20 tournament to be played just before his team leaves for next year’s T-20 World Cup.
REPORT BY BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
With Zimbabwe inactive on the international stage for five months before February’s World Cup to be staged in Bangladesh, Waller intends to use the domestic competition to gear up for the more gruesome challenge.
The domestic season is expected to begin next month.
Rising cricket nation Afghanistan have also proposed to tour Zimbabwe in the next few months for a one-day series, but Zimbabwe Cricket are yet to confirm.
Unlike prior to the last T-20 World Cup held in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe played Ireland and Bangladesh in warm-up matches, but this time around is battling for a concrete programme to keep shape.
Although they lost to Ireland by 54 runs before succumbing to a five wicket loss to Bangladesh, the then Allan Butcher-coached side had something to ready themselves for the tournament.
“We want a T-20 tournament just before we go to Bangladesh, and I have already requested for that. It would be very helpful to us,” Waller said.
“It is important that we go to the World Cup after playing that tournament. On the fitness side I believe we will be fine since it will be mid-season and players will be active. We can’t wait to get going, and I believe we will be better at the World Cup than before.”
Zimbabwe Cricket Media and Communications manager, Lovemore Banda said the World Cup will largely influence their T-20 fixture programme.
“We have not finalised the fixtures, but we expected to release them sometime this October with the season starting mid-November. We might start with shorter versions but we want to have the T-20 at the end of January to help the team prepare for the World Cup,” said Banda.
Zimbabwe struggled at the T-20 World Cup in Sri Lanka last year and lost all their matches and Waller hopes for an improvement.
They also lost two T-20 matches during Pakistan’s tour of the country at the end of August.