Zim U-19s hit by injuries ahead of WC

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Under-19 cricket team has been hit by injuries ahead of the ICC Under-19 World Cup after partaking in the unsuccessful tour of South Africa last week.

The youngsters found the going tough during the five-day Franchise Cubs week in Stellenbosch, winning only one match out of five. The team, however, gained vital exposure as they wind up preparations for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup set for Dubai next month.

Zimbabwe will get their Group C campaign underway against Canada on Valentine’s Day, date West Indies two days before concluding their group stage matches against neighbours South Africa on February 18.

The Walter Chawaguta coached team is currently sweating over the availability of middle order batsman Ryan Burl who dislocated his shoulder while fielding in the second match and was ruled out for the rest of the tournament. Top order batsman Dylan Nel suffered a broken ankle, seamer Mkhululi Nyathi injured his shoulder while left-arm spinner Dylan Hondo has a sore back.

“We are awaiting reports from these injured players that will help us determine the extent of their injuries,” Chawaguta told the Daily News yesterday.

“We are hopeful that all will be able to recover in time for the World Cup because it will be a big blow to lose the experience they had in India and South Africa during our preparatory games that we had as part of the build-up to the world showcase.”

The team had a difficult outing in South Africa last week winning just one match, a two-wicket win over Eastern Province Chevrolet Warriors. Chawaguta believes the team stand a chance of performing well at the World Cup when they perfect their short-comings.

“It was tough and disappointing tournament for us. We struggled a bit with a couple of departments but the idea of using spin as a main attack stood out as one of our greatest achievements and should do well for us in Dubai, the South Africans didn’t quite have an answer for the spinners,” he added.

“Our major let down was the batting department. The batsmen were comfortable on the crease but it was just a question of reading the situation and build on partnerships that we lacked and as result we didn’t manage to put many runs on the board.”

The majority of the team is set to regroup this morning at Harare Sports Club.

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