HARARE – Zimbabwe captain Sharne Mayers says she is up to the challenge after she was thrust into the spotlight to lead the side at the ICC Women’s World Qualifiers in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Zimbabwe are in Group A together with India, New Zealand, Ireland, Thailand and hosts Sri Lanka.
The tournament will see 10 teams battling for the remaining four places at the World Cup to be held in England from June 26 to July 23.
In addition to this, the top four sides also stand to gain automatic entry in the second edition of the ICC Women’s Championship while fifth and sixth-placed sides will secure One Day International status for the next four years.
Mayers, who has been thrust back to lead the team in the absence of substantive skipper Chipo Mugeri who recently gave birth, said it is time she takes responsibility of the faith shown by the selectors.
“…I don’t look at it as so much pressure (to be captain). It’s a role that I now must take responsibility for and I have played a lot of cricket, played (in) lot of these events so I’m very confident not only in myself but in the team and the support staff around me that they will help me lead the team and also get the results that we want,” the allrounder said at a press conference yesterday.
“I feel I’m a lot more prepared, I have grown and a lot of my cricket I have played with boys, so I feel that experience and the competitiveness that boys have.
“I think now is the perfect time for me to go out there and lead by example and hopefully comeback and when we meet again we will be talking about our preparations for the World Cup.”
The 24-year-old bemoaned the absence of substantive skipper Mugeri, who she described as an integral part of the team.
“Chipo honestly is a big part of our team missing and I wish her all the best. She has a baby girl, it’s been fantastic hopefully she will be our player in years to come,” Mayers said.
“But I do feel that it’s given others an opportunity to step out and take responsibility. This is their chance, when Chipo is ready and the baby is getting a little older she will re-join and realise…she won’t be able to just walk into the team.”
Head coach Trevor Phiri said he was happy with the preparations that the team went through in the build up to the qualifiers.
“We have been working mainly on our batting, of late it has been letting us down. We worked on options and combinations as well as on the aspects of keeping wickets and batting out our time making sure that our top batters bat through the overs,” Phiri said.
Zimbabwe squad: Sharne Mayers (capt), Precious Marange, Esther Mbofana, Pellagia Mujaji, Modester Mupachikwa (wk), Marry-Anne Musonda, Nomatter Mutasa, Ashley Ndiraya, Josephine Nkomo, Nonhlanhla Nyathi (wk), Loreen Tshuma, Tasmeen Granger, Nomvelo Sibanda and Anesu Mushangwe. Coach: Trevor Phiri.