23 May 2024

Missing T20 World Cup is painful, says Raza

Published: 23:46, 2 May 2024

Missing T20 World Cup is painful, says Raza

Sikandar Raza

Zimbabwe captain Sikandar Raza expressed the extent of their agony by admitting that they would carry the pain of missing the T20 World Cup till they breath last.

The East African nation lost against Namibia and Uganda in the African leg of the qualifiers and were unable to qualify for the next month's T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States.

"I think that's something that will always be painful. Not just when we play, I think even when we retire and sit down with people that we play cricket with and the people in the management as well because it hurts them equally as well," Raza said in Chattogram today as his side gears up for the five-match T20 series opener against Bangladesh.

"I think it will always be painful that we're not going to the World Cup. So, it's not just pain that we're feeling now, I think it's something that we're going to have to carry for a long time."

Raza hopes Zimbabwe will hope to play the way they did at home in 2022, when they beat Bangladesh for the first time in a T20I series.

They beat Bangladesh in the ODIs series, but are yet to win a white-ball series in Bangladesh since 2001.

Of the 20 T20 Internationals between the two sides, Zimbabwe won seven and lost 13.

 "It would be a great memory to take (series) back home. I cannot predict the future that I can't do. But we've come here with the right mindset, and we've come here preparing really well for the series. We've come here to win as well, and so as Bangladesh," he remarked.

"I think it will be a very well-fought series. Both countries have a lot of things on the line. Bangladesh have a World Cup to look forward to and the combination of the team and all that. We have a legacy and we have our own missions to accomplish. So, I think it will be a very good series. I believe it will be a good series for both countries."

Bangladesh came on the back of 2-1 defeat to Sri Lanka in this format but Raza believes the hosts should be considered as favourtie given their track record against Zimbabwe.
"Bangladesh, I know you guys lost the last series to Sri Lanka, but it was 2-1 and even the one game that you were chasing, 200 odd, I mean, you could see that depth Bangladeshi guys like Riyad (Mahmudullah) had a very good knock in one of those games," he said.

"Jaker Ali had an outstanding knock in one of those games. Even the young leg spinner (Rishad Hossain) had a fantastic knock. I mean, the guy performed regularly in the ODI series as well. We went to Sri Lanka as well and we nearly won the series as well. So, I think we are fairly matched and I think it will be a competitive series. I just hope it's an entertaining series. And the last thing you want fans to have a boring series that they do not enjoy. But if you look at our history, the majority of the times, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have played very entertaining cricket. And it will remain the same."