HARARE – Zimbabwe cricket captain Graeme Cremer says the team will make good use of their forthcoming matches as momentum slowly builds up towards the 2019 ICC World Cup qualifiers.
The tournament to be held in England next year will feature 10 teams, down from 14 teams that participated at the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand.
England as the hosts together with the top seven teams on the ICC ODI rankings as of September 30 this year will earn an automatic qualification.
The remaining two spots will be decided by the 2018 World Cup Qualifier where Zimbabwe currently ranked 11th in ODI cricket behind Associate side Afghanistan in 10th place has to negotiate their way to the England finals.
Last month, a Zimbabwe A side made up of some national team players, thumped Canada 3-0 in a one day series in Harare.
Cremer and his men now head for Scotland where they will play the Associate side two one day matches before proceeding to Netherlands for three more limited overs matches.
Zimbabwe will then make their way to Sri Lanka for a series involving five One Day Internationals and a single Test.
The team is scheduled to leave for Scotland on June 10 and Cremer is confident the programme will give them a good platform to qualify for the World Cup.
“…convincing series win against Canada and we have our local 50 overs competition which has been good and we have been in camp in between games, so the preparations are good so far and most importantly a clean bill of health; no injuries,” Cremer told the Daily News yesterday.
“I think we will have a lot of games before the qualifiers which will be good, and I think with the coaching staff we have, we are definitely heading in the right direction.”
Cremer once threw in the towel in April 2013 owing to frustration at the way Zimbabwe Cricket ill-treated players before making a comeback in 2015.
Since his return to the game, the leg spinner has enjoyed a meteoric rise that has seen him getting the captaincy, first on an interim basis in May last year before getting the job fulltime.
At the same time, Cremer has slowly developed from a predominantly spin bowler to a potent all-rounder.
Last October, he reached his maiden Test ton when he scored an unbeaten 102 runs in the first innings against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club to help Zimbabwe avoid a follow-on.
In the same match, the Mid West Rhinos skipper picked up four wickets for 142 runs from 42 overs.