NATIONAL Under-19 cricket team captain Malcolm Lake believes the current crop of players will have a lot to prove at the International Cricket Council Under-19 Cricket World Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates next month.
Lake, who is making his second appearance at the youth global showpiece, said although they would face some tough matches against the likes of South Africa and the West Indies, they were aiming to be competitive.
“We obviously want to do better than we did at the last World Cup,” he said. “We want to prove that we would be there to do the best we can and play competitive cricket.
“Obviously teams like the West Indies and South Africa are great competition and so are Canada. They would not be there to make up the numbers, but to play, so we will take every game very seriously.”
Lake, who is expected to lead the team from the front after some impressive performances with the bat at the last World Cup in Australia, said he was relishing the prospect of playing at the World Cup.
“Playing at the World Cup is a great priviledge for any young cricketer, it means a lot to me and everyone in the team. Personally to be captaining the team for the second year is a great honour,” he said.
Injured top order batsman Dylan Nel was the only absentée in the national Under-19 cricket team announced during yesterday’s kit presentation for the World Cup held in the capital.
Nel suffered an ankle injury at the Cricket South Africa Franchise Cubs Week in South Africa recently.
Head coach Walter Chawaguta said he was happy with the composition of his squad and was confident they would do well in the UAE.
“I’m very happy with the squad. I think we have a very good balance of the all-rounder, spinners,” Chawaguta said.
“We are going to Asia, so we are obviously very strong in the spin department. Spin is going to be crucial. With the teams that we are going to play (South Africa, the West Indies and Canada) we know we have to take pace away from the ball for us to have a better chance of success. We have also done a lot of work in the batting department,” Chawaguta said.
Zimbabwe’s youth team will battle it out in Group C alongside Canada, South Africa and the West Indies for the World Cup and open their campaign against the Canadians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on February 14.
Zim Under-19 Cubs Week squad:
Malcolm Lake, Luke Jongwe, Stephen Kamhunukamwe, Kieran Geyle, Joylord Gumbie, Charles Kunje, Patrick Mambo, Cuthbert Musoko, Hebert Chikomba, Deven Bell, Ryan Burl, Tarisai Musakanda, Dylan Hondo, Mkhululi Nyathi, Shaun Handirisi
Head coach: Walter Chawaguta, Assistant coach: Alois Tichana, bowling coach: Mluleki Nkala, team Manager: Nick Nsingo