The team lost all six matches in the January Tri-series against hosts South Africa and Pakistan, results which have triggered panic with the coaches organising matches ahead of the World Cup.
Serious business begins next month when the team takes on an academy side from Dubai in three One-Day-Internationals in Harare before they start playing full-strength local franchises.
Coach Chris Harris said in an interview that there was need to give the players more exposure ahead of the tournament so that they are better prepared.
“We lost all matches in the triangular series but we know we are much better than that,” said Harris. “The problem is that our schools do not play as much cricket as in South Africa and Pakistan and we only have one player involved in first class cricket. So we have lined up a lot of matches against a Dubai academy team then we will play Mashonaland Eagles Rhinos and Mountaineers. We might even play all the franchises so that the players get more exposure.”
The former New Zealand batsman is confident that Zimbabwe will be strong enough to compete by the time they leave.
Zimbabwe might still reengage South Africa again ahead of the World Cup but they have already confirmed a home five-match series against Bangladesh who are penciled to tour in July.
In Australia, Zimbabwe will play two warm-up matches against Namibia, the third African team at the showcase, as well as England.
Zimbabwe is in the same group as number three-ranked India, Papua New Guinea and the West Indies.
The top two teams qualify for the knockout rounds while the bottom two of each group will compete for the Plate competition.
While the 2004 and 2006 World Cups were particularly good for Zimbabwe, the same cannot be said of the last two where the side failed to win a single match in the group stages on both occasions.
The two tournaments failed to provide substantial prospects for the senior national team. –– Staff Writer.