Raza named T20 captain as Zimbabwe hope to get 2024 World Cup ticket

Raza named T20 captain as Zimbabwe hope to get 2024 World Cup ticket

Following Zimbabwe’s 3-2 defeat in the T20I series against Namibia, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has rung in major changes to the set-up, including naming Sikandar Raza as the new captain.

Placing an importance on Zimbabwe’s pursuit of a spot at the upcoming T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies next year, the board also retained Dave Houghton as the head coach in an attempt to maintain continuity.

That leaves Zimbabwe, ranked 11th in T20Is, with two captains across the three formats: Craig Ervine will continue to lead the Test and ODI teams.

Sikandar Raza

Under Ervine’s captaincy, Zimbabwe had a 54% win percentage in 38 games, the best among Zimbabwe T20I captains.

Raza has led Zimbabwe in four T20Is before – between 2015 to 2021 – all in a stand-in capacity.

The three-member men’s selection panel was also changed, with former fast bowler David Mutendera remaining as convener, but with Houghton and former captain Elton Chigumbura now joining him.

Zimbabwe did not participate at the 2021 T20 World Cup because ZC was suspended by the ICC because of government interference in its administration.

At the 2022 edition, they topped their group in the first round but finished last – sixth – in their Super 12 grouping, and failed to automatically qualify for 2024.

To get there, Zimbabwe will be playing the Africa region qualifier final later this month alongside Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and hosts Namibia.

Two teams from that competition will complete the 20-team line-up for the main edition in 2024.

Performance of women’s team under scrutiny

The ZC also said that the tenures of Zimbabwe women head coach Gary Brent, the captain Mary-Anne Musonda, and the vice-captain Josephine Nkomo will be reviewed after the T20 World Cup Africa qualifier is completed in December.

They have played only six T20Is all year, and have a 1-5 record so far with the only tour being their series in Bangkok against Thailand.

With the upcoming men’s Under-19 World Cup set to be held in Sri Lanka early next year, Prosper Utseya was given an extension as coach of the team.

Former fast bowler Kyle Jarvis was named as one of the Under-19 selectors, alongside Chigumbura (convener), Jestinos Gwatiringa, Pollock Mubhobho and Leslie Makirimani.

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