Sri Lanka to host Zimbabwe for three ODIs in January 2022
The three games will all be day-night fixtures as part of the Super League, and will be held in Kandy
Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka are set to begin 2022 with three ODIs as part of the ICC Super League, with Sri Lanka hosting the series. The three games will be day-night fixtures scheduled for January 16, 18 and 21, and will be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.
Zimbabwe are currently placed bottom of the Super League table with two wins from their nine games, while Sri Lanka are sixth in the 13-team league, with four wins from 15 games. The Super League is a qualification path to the 2023 ODI World Cup, with the top eight teams qualifying directly, while the remaining five will be pooled with five Associate teams in a qualifying tournament. Two teams will go through to the World Cup from that tournament. By virtue of hosting the 2023 World Cup, India have automatically qualified, effectively making the Super League a battle for the next seven spots.
Zimbabwe are currently tied on 25 points with the Netherlands, but have played five matches fewer.
"Every game is very important for us because Super League games will decide who can qualify automatically, hence it is important that we prepare well and start well," Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput said. "I am a very confident person and always believe that we can beat Sri Lanka, considering that we have had good game time playing the Pro50 tournament [Zimbabwe's domestic List A competition]."
Zimbabwe's last ODI in the Super League was part of a three-match series against Ireland in September, which ended 1-1. The teams split points in the washed out second ODI. Sri Lanka also last played in the Super League in September, beating South Africa 2-1 in a home series.
"We have not started off well in the Super League, but I am confident that with the players in form during the Pro50 matches, we will do well against Sri Lanka," Rajput said. "If we play our best cricket and to our potential, with our best players, there is every chance that we can qualify directly."