Twenty20 Triangular Series June 14, 2012

'Zimbabwe have point to prove' - Mangongo


Stephen Mangongo, the Zimbabwe assistant coach, has said his side have a point to prove in their upcoming Twenty20 tri-series against South Africa and Bangladesh despite the series not being granted official status as it falls outside the ICC Future Tours Programme.

"We are taking these as full-on, serious games," Mangongo told ESPNcricinfo. "We don't have many opportunities to play South Africa, so every opportunity we get to play them we've got a point to prove.

"We want to improve our cricket. We want the world to see that there are some good things happening in terms of cricket in Zimbabwe. So we are taking the games absolutely seriously, and giving it everything we've got. In the process, it also becomes a build-up for the T20 World Cup. It's also a huge incentive for the guys who perform, and who are on the borderlines trying to get into the side."

The South African squad is missing a clutch of its big stars as AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel have been rested. All four played extensively during the recent IPL and will be integral parts of South Africa's tour of England in July. Bangladesh will be without Shakib Al Hasan, who has asked to be rested.

Zimbabwe announced a 24-man training squad in May that included a couple of new faces in Zimbabwe Under-19 and Mountaineers batsman Kevin Kasuza and Mid West Rhinos seamer Richard Muzhange. Mountaineers fast bowler Tendai Chatara, who played a solitary T20I against India in 2010, has also been included in the preliminary group.

"Kevin Kasuza is one to watch," Mangongo said. "Amazing boy, amazing batsman, very talented. Then there's Tendai Chatara, from Mountaineers again. A tall, lanky bowler. He played one game for the national team, had a back problem and faded away a bit. He's back in the fold and he's bowling quick. These two youngsters should be looking for good things in the coming series."

Zimbabwe have not played since their tour of New Zealand in January and February. Their only other opportunity to prepare for the World Twenty20 in September will be a triangular A series against South Africa A and Sri Lanka A in July. Their scheduled hosting of Bangladesh in August was postponed because of maintenance work on the pitches in Harare and Bulawayo.

Prior to their trip to New Zealand, Zimbabwe had been through an unusually busy spell, having hosted Bangladesh, Pakistan and New Zealand in the midst of the domestic season. Mangongo suggested that a break from cricket had actually been required, allowing several players - such as Chris Mpofu, who was sidelined by a lower back injury last season - to recover from injuries, and also allowing the cricketers to spend time with their families at home.

"Basically it came from Alan Butcher and the whole technical department that after having played non-stop cricket, there was a need to rejuvenate the bodies," Mangongo said. "Give the guys time off. Some of the married guys, they want to be with their families. Allow them time and space. Allow them to recover from niggles.

"Then from there on, those who feel that they want to continue playing the game, provided they're not injured, please with pleasure go ahead and play. So it was a mixture of both. And obviously you find that there are some guys like Hamilton [Masakadza] who just eat and drink cricket every day. He rested for one week, or two weeks, and then he was back and playing club cricket again. So, that's good too."

The tri-series begins on June 17 with Zimbabwe's match against Bangladesh at Harare Sports Club.

Liam Brickhill is a former assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 17, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    Spot on Neutral_Fan. We even cannot get past the players of our dark days(4 years without a win) like Ashraful and continue worshiping him. I think luckily we got players like Sakib who was born ahead of time. The other players are also not bad cricketers but we the fans and the journalists are far from making our nation a matured cricket nation. We will eventually be a mature cricket nation but may be it will take another 20/30 years. I just hope I will be able to see that and live that long.

  • Dre on June 17, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Why would a team "practice" to LOSE? Does that make sense? Its ok to hope they improve and do well but please stop the nonsense claiming they were only practice matches. They lost and that is a cause for some concern. Give Zim credit. For yrs persons would make the same excuses vs Bang n Bang fans would be in an uproar. Now they are behaving the same way towards Zim. U cannot expect respect if you don't give any. Plus the first step to improvement is admitting you have problems and stop making excuses for them. Just practice matches? Well well why don't we all practice to lose from now on?

  • RAHUL on June 16, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    OK, how many test matches has Bangladesh played??? How many did Zim played?? Bangladesh weren't in form in that Test. Zim played more test cricket then Bangladesh yet Bangladesh played only about 9 tests. We are #9 in test ranking and Zim is #10! Don't also judge our batting/bowling without Shakib! BD usually wants to win the practice matches but Pybus is a genius man... he is seeing who would be good in the T20 before it starts!

  • Sharif on June 15, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Zimbabwe made an Upset to Win any kind series against Bangladesh in 2011 after 5 Years since 2006. From 2005 to 2012 Bangladesh Played 9 ODI series against Zimbabwe Where Bangladesh Won 7 Series against them in both Home and Away, this time Zimbabwe managed to win only 2 Series against Bangladesh in Just their Home. Even, Bangladesh Whitewashed Zimbabwe by 5-0 in that time. So, All Statistics concludes here that Bangladesh is Clearly far far Ahead of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe made nothing but an Upset in 2011 Series. But Yes. its also to Acknowledge that Zimbabwe is also a Good and Promising Team Who doing Well day by day. Fans of Bangladesh Team are also Keep Good Wish for Zimbabwe Team.

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    zimbabwe us not better then bangladesh they are almost even but bangladesh are better in odi and t20 but zimbabwe are better in test because bangladesh players are not so good in test they are bad in reponsibility they want in test to play quick they want to hit every ball in test you can easily out by test

  • Javed on June 15, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    I think Bangladesh did well after traveling 24 hours and taking only 12 hours rest. Good job tiger. Make sure you win the real game.

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    Congratulations to Zimbabwe. You showed how useless our Bowling and Batting line-up is without Shakib.

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    These comments make me lough,because this was practice match the final tournament will be held in 17 jun. Bangladesh try to give chance new comer in practice match for looking their ability.hope this unnecessary comments will be stooped when Bangladesh will win tri nation the cup .

  • Suj on June 15, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Zimbabwe is definitely a level above Bangladesh and maybe on par with Ireland at the moment. They proved it by thrashing Bangladesh in their return to test cricket after so many years and following it up by beating them in the one day series too ... If only they can be as good as they were back in the 1990s with the Flower brothers, Heath Streak, Alistair Campbell, Paul Strang, etc. At the moment, this tour has started off pretty well. No report on the practice match but here's the summary: Tour Match: Zimbabwe Select XI v Bangladeshis at Harare - Jun 15, 2012; Zimbabwe Select XI won by 3 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)

  • Zoheb on June 15, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    I wonder if the full form for "ICC" is International Cricket Council or International Cremator of Cricket ?? Shouldn't they be supporting the teams who are so eager to play the game, by acknowledging the series as "official" instead of ignoring it just because the series don't fall under their calendar?? On one hand they talk about promoting the game while on the other they are shying off from doing so. I feel pity for the Zimbabwe players since, their performance wont be recorded. This is sheer brutality from the principal council.

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