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‘We want to secure our future in all three formats’ – Sikander Raza speaks on Zimbabwe cricket’s long term vision

'We want to secure our future in all three formats' - Sikander Raza speaks on Zimbabwe cricket's long term vision

Sikandar Raza Interview. (Photo Source: Twitter)

While Zimbabwe will be absent from the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024, captain Sikandar Raza sees a golden opportunity to reconstruct the national team. He opened up on including fresh talent with an eye towards long-term success across all formats.

The recent tour of Bangladesh provided a peek into Zimbabwe’s move towards giving chances to youngsters. Debutant allrounder Brian Bennett played a pivotal role. Though the visitors lost the series 4-1, debutant allrounder Brian Bennett played a Player of the Match performance of 70 runs and picked two wickets in the fifth match.

“This is the vision. Because we are not going to the World Cup, we want to rebuild the team. We want to secure our future in all three formats. The senior guys will be there for a bit longer in ODIs and Tests, but in T20s we are trying to build a new team. The long-term vision is for these guys to gain the confidence from T20s to filter into ODIs and Tests,” Raza said as quoted by Times of India.

“I can tell those youngsters that we tried our hardest (in the qualifiers) but it wasn’t meant to be. For those coming into the changing room, there’s still the right guidance available. Hopefully, our advice and guidance will help you kids cross that hurdle, and get to the World Cup if you ever have to play the qualifiers,” he further added.

Also read: Sikandar Raza on Zimbabwe missing T20 World Cup 2024

I am very pleased with my performance: Brian Bennett

Throughout the Bangladesh tour, the Raza-led side rested experienced players like Ryan Burl, Sean Williams, and Craig Ervine at times to give opportunities to younger prospects like Bennett, Jonathan Campbell, and Tadiwanashe Marumani. Bennett was impressed by batting in three different positions and being effective with both bat and ball.

“I am very pleased with my performance. It is Mother’s Day, so this one will be for my mum. I am grateful it came out today. I am fine batting anywhere in the order. I don’t have a set position to bat. I can play my normal game during or after the powerplay,” Bennett said.

Also read: Zimbabwe avoid Bangla whitewash after comprehensive win in fifth T20I

By showing faith in the next generation now, Raza feels Zimbabwe can avoid the heartbreak of failing in future World Cup qualifiers, as they did in missing this year’s T20 event.

“For some reason, Zimbabwe plays great in qualifiers but in the do-or-die match, all of us tend to fall off. We just want to make sure we qualify directly, and we don’t have to play these qualifiers again,” Raza concluded.

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