Dave Houghton oozes confidence as Zimbabwe eye perfect campaign in Men's T20 WC Qualifier B

Bulawayo, July 9 (IANS) Zimbabwe head coach Dave Houghton believes that his side have what it takes to win the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier B 2022 to be held from July 11-17 tournament in Bulawayo. The hosts will face Singapore in their opening match of the eight-team event at Queens Sports Club on Monday.
 
Dave Houghton oozes confidence as Zimbabwe eye perfect campaign in Men's T20 WC Qualifier B

Bulawayo, July 9 (IANS) Zimbabwe head coach Dave Houghton believes that his side have what it takes to win the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier B 2022 to be held from July 11-17 tournament in Bulawayo. The hosts will face Singapore in their opening match of the eight-team event at Queens Sports Club on Monday.

They will then play Jersey and the United States of America on Tuesday and Thursday respectively at the same venue to complete their Group A fixtures. Group B features the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Uganda. Teams making it to the final of the event will clinch the two remaining spots at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 to be held in Australia in October-November this year.

"In terms of where we are looking to be as a team, we are talking nothing short of winning the tournament -– as simple as that. Qualifying will be a bonus but we are actually looking to win the tournament," said Houghton ahead of the tournament in a Zimbabwe Cricket release.

After camping in Bulawayo for a fortnight ahead of the showpiece event, Houghton believes his players are very well-prepared for the tournament. "I'm very happy. I can't thank the ground staff here in Bulawayo enough for the facilities we have had here at Queens for two weeks. We have had lots of centre-wicket practice and net practice. I could't have asked for more. The guys are ready. From what I see, the guys have really responded pretty well."

"The language they are using now is about positivity, it's about freedom of expression and we are having the guys hit the ball properly using all their skills. Their skills have been wrapped up for a couple of years and hopefully, we are going to release them now and we should see a nice, positive, exciting brand of cricket starting on Monday."

Zimbabwe, ranked 12th in Men's T20I rankings, have received a timely boost ahead of the tournament through the availability of Sean Williams, Wellington Masakadza and Richard Ngarava. Williams missed the last two home series against Namibia and Afghanistan after Zimbabwe Cricket granted him compassionate leave to attend to personal and private matters.

Ngarava and Masakadza were also ruled out of those series as they were recovering from lower back and right shoulder injuries respectively. But now, the trio are back and are part of Zimbabwe's 14-man squad lead by Craig Ervine alongside experienced campaigners such as Tendai Chatara, Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva and Blessing Muzarabani.

Zimbabwe Squad: Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine (captain), Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Wessely Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba and Sean Williams

--IANS

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