Sports, Cricket

Zimbabwe fails, Uganda make it a success

Published : 01 Dec 2023 06:54 PM

Their poor run in qualifying tournaments continues and they won’t be part of marquee ICC events in 2024 and 2025 when Zimbabwe have been knocked out of contention of qualifying for the 2024 men’s T20 World Cup. 

Uganda made it success to join Namibia after defeating Rwanda in the last round of matches in the Africa leg of the qualifiers. While Zimbabwe look on course to win their final fixture against Nigeria, it was all over for them once Uganda beat Rwanda.

After asking Rwanda to bat and dismissing them for 65 in 18.5 overs, Uganda reached their target in 8.1 overs.

The result meant Zimbabwe's poor run in World Cup qualifiers continued: they had failed to make the cut for the 2019 and 2023 ODI World Cups, after not finishing in the top two in qualifying tournaments held at home. 

That aside, they couldn't take part in the 2021 T20 World Cup, because Zimbabwe Cricket had been suspended at the time by the ICC for government interference in its cricket administration, and while they did get out of the first round at the 2022 T20 World Cup, they finished last with one win in five games in the second round, which also prevented them from qualifying directly for the upcoming edition of the T20 World Cup, to be played in June in the West Indies and the USA. 

By not qualifying for the 2023 ODI World Cup, Zimbabwe also lost the opportunity to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy.

Zimbabwe's campaign in the ongoing T20 World Cup qualifiers started with what head coach Dave Houghton called an "embarrassingly bad" performance against Namibia, where they lost by seven wickets. To finish in the top two, assuming Namibia won all their games, Zimbabwe had to beat all their other opponents but lost their third game - after beating Tanzania - to Uganda by five wickets. That meant their qualification wasn't in their hands anymore and Uganda's victory against Rwanda sealed their fate.

It's also a poor start as T20I captain for Sikandar Raza. He led a near full-strength Zimbabwe side in the qualifiers after being appointed captain following a 3-2 T20I series defeat in Namibia in October, with Blessing Muzarabani back after recovering from a fractured hand. Brad Evans, who was out of action after suffering shin splits, was the only first-team player to miss out.