Campbell hopeful of cricket success

JOHANNESBURG - Underdogs Zimbabwe are making final preparations for the International Cricket Council World Cup, resuming their long-running rivalry against tournament favourites South Africa and rank outsiders Ireland.

The One Day International (ODI) matches are scheduled for India, starting with neighbouring South Africa tomorrow and the Europeans next Tuesday.

The two matches will be the last Zimbabwe plays before the ICC World Cup, which commences on February 19. India, Sri Lanka and Banglasdesh jointly host the world cricket mother bodys flagship tournament.

The Zimbabweans have not had the best of preparations. In December, they lost a series of ODIs to Bangladesh, going down 3-1 in the subcontinent. They were earlier whitewashed by South Africa in a series of one-sided matches in October.

Zimbabwe are in a relatively tough group alongside world champions Australia , favourites New Zealand , Sri Lanka and Canada. The Southern Africans performance in past tournaments does not make for good reading.

While it has played in every edition of the World Cup since 1983, it has never made the semi-finals. Zimbabwe s run of 18 matches between June 11 1983 and March 14 1992 is the record for most consecutive games in the tournament without a victory.

However, Zimbabwes chairman of selectors, Alistair Campbell, believes a good performance against New Zealand would enhance the teams chances of progressing to the second round of International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.

I think we have a good draw for the ICC Cricket World Cup and we would look to perhaps target New Zealand as they are pretty unpredictable as can be Pakistan. So, if we play to our ability there is every chance things could go our way to get into the next round, the former Zimbabwe player said.

Meanwhile, ICC revealed the team of umpires to do duty in Zimbabwe s two warm-up matches. Simon Taufel, Rod Tucker, Asoka de Silva and Roshan Mahanama (referee) will officiate in the match against South Africa while Marais Erasmus, Buddhi Pradhan, Sanjay Hazare (referee) will officiate in the match against Ireland.

Post published in: Cricket

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