ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Kenya v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup 2011, Kolkata

Tests will make us more competitive - Chigumbura

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 20, 2011

Comments: 12 | Text size: A | A

Elton Chigumbura, the Zimbabwe captain, has said the team's return to Test cricket will help its players become more competitive at the international level. Zimbabwe ended their World Cup campaign on a positive note, beating Kenya comprehensively at the Eden Gardens to finish with two wins, both against minnows, out of six games. They are scheduled to end their self-imposed isolation from Tests in August this year, when they take on Bangladesh followed by Pakistan and New Zealand.

"The next three months are going to be very important for us. We are all excited about playing Test cricket and we know it is going to improve us as players," Chigumbura said. "We have to put in hard work in the coming three months. We know where we are and what we need to do before we start our first game."

The transition to playing Tests, Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher said, was not going to be easy. The Tests against Bangladesh later in the year will be Zimbabwe's first since September 2005. "No doubt you might be wondering if we are going to be up for the challenge and the answer to that, honestly, is probably 'no'," Butcher said.

"The only place to learn to play Test cricket is actually by doing that. There is no other place that can prepare you for that."

Zimbabwe's bowlers backed up their batsmen with an all-round performance, Kenya v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup 2011, Kolkata, March 20, 2011
Zimbabwe completed an easy win in Kolkata © Getty Images

Internal problems led Zimbabwe to exclude itself from Test cricket in 2006 when it failed to field a competitive team. Zimbabwe have played 83 Tests since 1992, winning eight and losing 49.

Zimbabwe's batting, which Butcher had said had been affected by the lack of Tests, stepped up against Kenya with Tatenda Taibu, Vusi Sibanda and Craig Ervine striking half-centuries. The spinners then defended 308 by skittling out Kenya for 147.

"We have to take the positives from today. When we go back home, we have to continue working on our batting," Chigumbura said. "I'm very happy with the win. The guys played well all round today, especially with the bat, which is something that we've asked for the whole tournament. You can't ask more from the bowling department, the guys have been consistent."


Comments: 12 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 22, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

welcome back Zim, wish u all the best,

Posted by amit on (March 22, 2011, 4:57 GMT)

if ICC again giving opportunity to ZIMBABWE for test status my question is that then give IRELAND test staus also becoz IRELAND is far better then ZIM dnt waste passion and talent of IRISH players for cricket world knows what superb performance shown by irish team in this world cup

Posted by James on (March 22, 2011, 4:55 GMT)

@ssenthil: I dont think WI should be considered as second level. This WC only shows the problems in selection that WI has. Had they nurtured and included the likes of Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor, Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Barath, Baugh, Dwayne Smith (Some of them are out with injuries), none of the other teams could stand up to them. Just consider this 11. Gayle, Barath, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Samuels/Pollard, Baugh, Jerome Taylor, Fidel Edwards, Roach/Russel, Benn. Injuries and the WI selectors are screwing up the team.

Posted by Paddy on (March 21, 2011, 23:17 GMT)

The major problem with having Ireland as test playing nation is simply the domestic cricket structure is pretty much non-existent. A decent standard 'first class' league should, ideally, be in operation. This would allow new players to come through and continue the operation of Ireland as test playing nation. CHEERS.

Posted by Anneeq on (March 21, 2011, 17:43 GMT)

Thats great, i look forward to seeing Zimbabwe back in test action! I also want to see Ireland in test action, theyv more than proved themselves to be worthy of test status!!

Posted by Andrew on (March 21, 2011, 9:52 GMT)

@MeijiMura, on this one I think you are being a little harsh. If anything, I think Zim would have had a fighting chance of beating England as England's bowling has really been off colour having expended themselves in the Ashes series. I also thought that Netherlands looked better than they are because of Engalnd's poor bowling. Ireland continued to impress, but Zim is pretty equal with them at the mo, so anything could have happened, while Bangladesh blow hot and cold, so we had a chance there as well. But I do agree that we must not rush back to playing tests against big countries. It will be slow progress and I think we must play more games against A sides at first. There are some talented guys who should be given a chance such as Malcolm Waller while guys like Chatara did well on Zim A's successful run in last year's associate's first class tournament. The first goal will be to take the matches to 5 days, then to draw them, and then to start winning. I hope we can play Ireland more

Posted by Justin on (March 21, 2011, 3:58 GMT)

If this World Cup is anything to go by Zimbabwe are nowhere near ready to resume playing cricket at the highest level i.e. playing Test Cricket.

If they had been playing in Group B instead of Bangladesh I think they would have had a win-loss record of 0-6. Luckily for them they were up against the two weakest associate nations in the World Cup.

I would have preferred to see Zimbabwe taking regular overseas tours to play against Test Nations' A teams and to be given a permanent place in all of South Africa's domestic competitions (20/20, 50 over, and first-class competitions) for a few years more before being 'rushed back in' like they have been.

After all if only 10 nations are to participate at the next World Cup there is every likelihood that Zimbabwe won't even be present given Ireland's higher ranking and far superior performance at this World Cup.

If Zimbabwe can't compete in ODIs how on earth do the ICC expect them to perform in Test Matches?

Posted by Jahanzeb on (March 21, 2011, 3:54 GMT)

It will be good to have Zimbabwe back in the test fold i think at first they might struggle but with time they will become better. good decision to start with a series against Bangaldesh who themselves are not that strong of a test team.

Posted by Apratim on (March 21, 2011, 3:46 GMT)

welcome back Zim..I am eagerly waiting to see you on test arena

Posted by Andrew on (March 21, 2011, 0:19 GMT)

Hmmm! I don't think playing tests improves batting - particularly in the short term. Its a good first class structure that can mimic a Test environment that will. Zim do have talent, & hopefully they'll just play those sides for the time being, (maybe Ireland if given Test status too).

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