2010-10-13 19:18

Captain: Elton Chigumbura

Number of World Cup Participations: 7

ODI Ranking (November 2010): 10th

Coach: Alan Butcher

World Cup Champions: Not yet

The perennial minnows of formal international cricket, Zimbabwe has had its fair share of ups and downs. At one point, during the 1990s and early 2000s, the country produced some truly world class performers, although struggled to make an impact as a team. Cricketers like Heath Streak, who captained the side and was their leading wicket taker, Andy and Grant Flower, the former once the top ranked batsman in the world, seamer Henry Olonga, whose on-field performances matched his superlative off-field singing in their grace, and Paul Strang, a miserly allrounder who enjoyed a long county career in England, all built promise for the African team.

But political wranglings, demonstrations, safety issues and a lack of funding have created enormous setbacks for the current team, which is still not active in the Test arena despite being qualified to play. In spite of this, Zimbabwe has been represented at all of the seven most recent World Cups, with their best result yet coming in 1999, when they were placed 5th.

Their 2010 ODI year has been average, with the team winning 6 of their 13 matches – not bad considering they have a higher success rate than both the West Indies and Pakistan.

In 2011, much will depend on their key players: Hamilton Masakadza, a patient and technically-solid opening batsman, wicketkeeper batsman Tatenda Taibu, and the more than useful off-break bowler Prosper Utseya. The team has much to achieve, and not much to lose, and it's likely that they will be able, at very least to produce victories against Canada and Kenya in Group A, giving them an outside chance of making the next round.


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