Injury concerns for Zimbabwe ahead of World Cup qualifier

Zimbabwe celebrate their win in the T20 World Cup Africa qualifiers. © ICC

Zimbabwe are in a bit of a fix ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers beginning later this month with a few injuries within the group. Senior batter Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano, who suffered a multiple fracture in her left foot during the T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier in Botswana, has been ruled out of the upcoming ODI series against Bangladesh and the subsequent qualifier. Christabel Chatonzwa, who is currently training with the squad after recovering from a calf strain, is still not 100 per cent fit, and is in a race against time to be available for the tournament.

Tiripano showed good form through the year, scoring two consecutive half-centuries in the List-A matches against Thailand. She followed those up with a couple of starts in the T20Is against them as well.

In some good news for Zimbabwe, they will be bolstered by the return of senior batter Sharne Mayers who missed the side’s previous assignments.

“We are fortunate to have Sharne Mayers back,” Zimbabwe head coach Adam Chifo told The Herald. “She will definitely be a big boost in our batting line-up and in terms of experience.”

“We are also happy Christabel Chatonzwa has recovered from injury and is in camp. Hopefully she will be 100 per cent fit when the tournament starts. I think we have most of our players except for Anesu (Mushangwe) and Chipo Mugeri.”

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Zimbabwe are set to host the Nigar Sultana-led Bangladesh in a three match ODI series in Bulawayo beginning on Wednesday (November 10). The series will serve as perfect preparation for both sides ahead of the qualifiers in Harare that are scheduled to start on November 21.

Chifo said the group is preparing well for the tournament and are hoping to learn plenty from the Bangladesh series.

“The Bangladesh series will mark the final tour for us, in terms of our preparation, so this is the time we need to fine-tune whatever plans that we have got, and whatever processes that we are going to apply in the tournament. So, we will use the series as the last part of our preparations. We are grateful to be playing Bangladesh because they are quite an experienced side,” Chifo said.

“They have been to the big tournaments; they have been to the World Cup more than us. They have more experience, so we are looking forward to getting as much as we can from them, so that we prepare ourselves for the big tournament.”

For the qualifiers, Zimbabwe are placed in Group B alongside Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand and USA. They will play their first fixture on the opening day of the tournament against Thailand at the Harare Sports Club.

The top three placed teams at the end of the tournament will qualify for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand next year. The next two placed sides will then have the opportunity to be part of the next cycle of the ICC Women’s ODI Championship.

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