Zimbabwe’s focus only on cricket amid ICC ban

Publish: 7:57 PM, September 12, 2019 | Update: 7:57:PM, September 12, 2019

DHAKA, – Leaving behind the turmoil of the recent past that put Zimbabwe’s cricket future at stake, captain Hamilton Masakadza said that their focus will be on cricket just as they take on hosts Bangladesh in tri-nation T20 series opener on Thursday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

International Cricket Council in July suspended Zimbabwe over a failure to keep the sport free from government interference that eventually cost them their place in the World T20 qualifier as Nigeria replaced them in the event,

The decision means ICC funding to Zimbabwe Cricket will be frozen and representative teams from the country will not be allowed to participate in any ICC events.

But they were able to take part in this tri-nation T20 tournament since it is organized by Bangladesh, for which Zimbabwe also expressed their gratitude towards the hosts.

”Obviously lot of things happen but that’s all behind the scenes,” Hamilton said here on Thursday after his side’s practice session for the tomorrow’s clash.

”End of the day as cricketers our job is to get off the field and play the best cricket on the field. That’s how we are judged on, that’s happening on the board. First and main thing is to concentrate on cricket and then put our best foot forward going out and do your job for your country tomorrow,” he said.

Masakadza said that they are aware that they will have to come up with their best against their opponents as Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous T20 squad in the world while Bangladesh will look forward to take the home advantage.

”Both the teams you have mentioned are very strong. Afghanistan has been playing very good for T20 cricket and Bangladesh being at home. Though I know the both sides are very strong, we have a lot of successes in T20 cricket here.

“I think we have played really well in Twenty20 internationals here in Bangladesh. So I don’t think we are far behind than them at all,” said Masakadza.

Masakadza’s side beat BCB XI, comprised with several national players in a warm-up T20 game on Wednesday and he is taking inspiration from that also.

”Obviously it’s good to have a practice match and do well, get your processes right, get your things right. But we are also well aware of the fact that what we got yesterday, definitely we won’t get in the games.

“So it’s about as much as take confidence from the game and we know that the challenge we will face tomorrow is going to be different,” he concluded.