Musonda relishes captaincy role

HARARE - Newly-appointed Zimbabwe Cricket women’s captain Mary-Anne Musonda believes she has been in the trenches for long now to negotiate with ease her new role.

The 27-year-old takes over from Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano, who has been leading the team from the front since 2013.

Right-handed batter and off-spinner Sharne Mayers temporarily took over the reins leading the team in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in Colombo, Sri Lanka in February 2017 while Mugeri-Tiripano was away on maternity leave.

Mayers had been the substantive skipper since 2011 before a knee injury relegated her out of the game subsequently missing the 2014 World Cup African Region Qualifiers in Tanzania.

But upon Mugeri-Tiripano’s return from maternity leave, the 26-year-old left-handed batter enjoyed a purple patch with the bat scoring five half centuries; a 57 against Ireland in Potchefstroom, South Africa, 57, 59 and 59 against Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda respectively in Windhoek, Namibia during the foiled ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifying Series Africa Region campaign.

In February this year Mugeri-Tiripano scored an unbeaten 64 at home against Ireland in a T20 series.

During the same period, incoming skipper Musonda recorded a single half ton, an unbeaten 65 against Ireland in Potchefstroom but it is her experience having been with the team for a long while that she hopes will help her guide the team to satisfaction from now going forward.

“The transition from being a senior player to being the captain is not too bad considering there’s already working relationships amongst team members. So I’m expecting us to gel very well,” Musonda said.

“We are looking forward to qualifying for the World Cup. We have always managed to go through the regionals and our huge hiccup always comes at the global qualifiers.”

Musonda’s first port of call will be leading the team in Zimbabwe’s tour to Namibia early January.

The bilateral series, dubbed the Namib Desert Women’s T20 Challenge, will take place at the Sparta Oval in Walvis Bay, with the matches scheduled for 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 January.

“We have played Namibia before and we are quite a stronger team, but we are not complacent . . . so definitely we are expecting five wins. Our attitude is winning,” she added.

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