Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
Zimbabwe is determined to exorcise the ghosts of 2018 when they take on Scotland this Tuesday in a must-win Super Six match of the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
As the Chevrons prepare for their defining match against Scotland, they find themselves in the same situation they were in five years ago on home soil.
In 2018, Zimbabwe took on minnows UAE in their final Super Six match at Harare Sports Club needing nothing short of victory to qualify for the 2019 ODI World Cup in England.
Zimbabwe was stunned into silence as the Chevrons lost to UAE by three runs and missed out on World Cup qualification.
This left a trail of broken hearts among the cricket faithful leading to inquests, retirements as well as the sacking of the then-head coach Heath Streak.
Five years on, the pre-match script is almost the same, hosting a qualifier, fans turning up in numbers, the Chevrons taking on lower-ranked opposition in the last match of the qualifier and needing nothing short of a win.
The players are determined to win for the fans that have stuck with them after the disappointments of 2018.
“The fans have been massive stuck with us through the most difficult times, and even after the defeat to Sri Lanka yesterday they kept singing and we were listening in the dressing room and we told ourselves we don’t need to let them down again, but how we approach the game is going to be key tomorrow the attitude we take into the game will determine our result but we very much ready for it,” veteran all-rounder Sean Williams noted.
Although the core group of players is still around, there is an air of confidence with the new kids on the block self-assured after the fortunes of the team were transformed following the appointment of Dave Houghton as national team coach in June last year.
The cricket legend has already led Zimbabwe to the T20 World Cup in his brief stint as he earmarks the more prestigious ODI World Cup.
Zimbabwe have only faced Scotland three times and the two teams have an identical record, a win, a draw and a loss apiece.