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CWCQ preview: Zimbabwe hope for home ground edge

Zimbabwe skipper Graeme Cremer acknowledged that the Cricket World Cup qualifier would not be easy but opined that the home conditions could give them the edge.

The hosts are among ten nations vying for two spots at the table when the world’s elite teams contest the World Cup in 2019.

Cremer said: “It’s very, very special for us to have such a big tournament in our country.

“It will be a tough tournament, the associate teams have come a long way, but hopefully being in our home conditions, we will qualify.

“With the home crowd behind us, we are confident about our chances. It will be very special for me to captain the side and take the team through to the World Cup.”

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Hamilton Masakadza, who has scored more than 5,000 runs in ODI cricket, also hoped to draw inspiration from the crowd.

The 34-year-old said: “It’s very exciting to be playing at home.

“We have got a very passionate cricket following, they follow us quite closely, we owe them a lot.

“We are massively confident, because playing at home, that’s a massive advantage.

“The way the team is playing and gelling together, we are really confident that we have the team to go all the way in the tournament. It is very special to represent the country, for me, it’s my last chance to play in the World Cup.”

With only two spots available for the World Cup Zimbabwe will have to be at their best to make the cut against the likes of the West Indies, Afghanistan, Ireland and the dangerous Scotland and Netherlands teams.

Zimbabwe Squad: Graeme Cremer (captain), Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Peter Moor, Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller.

Fixtures:

First round

March

4 A: Papua New Guinea v UAE, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

4 A: Ireland v Netherlands, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

4 B: Zimbabwe v Nepal, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

4 B: Afghanistan v Scotland, Bulawayo Athletic Club(07:30 GMT)

6 A: Papua New Guinea v Ireland, Harare Sports Club(07:30 GMT)

6 A: West Indies v UAE, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

6 B: Zimbabwe v Afghanistan, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

6 B: Scotland v Hong Kong, Bulawayo Athletic Club(07:30 GMT)

8 A: Netherlands v UAE, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

8 A: West Indies v Papua New Guinea, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

8 B: Scotland v Nepal, Queen’s Sports Club(07:30 GMT)

8 B: Afghanistan v Hong Kong, Bulawayo Athletic Club (07:30 GMT)

10 A: West Indies v Ireland, Harare Sports Club(07:30 GMT)

10 A: Papua New Guinea v Netherlands, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

10 B: Zimbabwe v Hong Kong, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

10 B: Afghanistan v Nepal, Bulawayo Athletic Club (07:30 GMT)

12 A: West Indies v Netherlands, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

12 A: Ireland v UAE, Old Hararians(07:30 GMT)

12 B: Hong Kong v Nepal, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

12 B: Zimbabwe v Scotland, Bulawayo Athletic Club(07:30 GMT)

(Top three teams in each group qualify for Super Sixes; others move into play-offs)

Super Sixes and play-offs
15 A1 v B1, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

15 A3 v B3, Queen’s Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

15 Play-off: A5 v B4, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

15 Play-off: A4 v B5, Kwekwe (07:30 GMT)

16 A2 v B2, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

17 9th/10th place play-off, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

17 7th/8th place play-off. Kwekwe (07:30 GMT)

18 A2 v B3, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

19 A1 v B2, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

20 A3 v B1, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

22 A1 v B3, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

22 A3 v B2, Old Hararians (07:30 GMT)

23 A2 v B1, Harare Sports Club (07:30 GMT)

(Top two teams in Super Six make the final – both qualify for 2019 World Cup)

25 Final, Harare Sports Club (08:30 BST)