March 10, 2023

Raza available for Netherlands ODIs

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Brandon Moyo

STAR all-rounder, Sikandar Raza is set to take part in Zimbabwe’s three match One Day International (ODI) cricket series against Netherlands set to start on March 21 at Harare Sports Club.

Raza, who missed Zimbabwe’s T20I series against Ireland in Harare and the Chevrons’ Test series against West Indies in Bulawayo last month confirmed through his social media platform that he will be available when the Dutch come over.

“Can’t wait to join the Chevrons for the series, dear Zimbabweans I shall be there InshaAllah (God willing) for the series. See you all soon,” he posted on his Twitter responding to ZC’s tour confirmation.

The three matches will take place on March 21, 23 and 25, with the fixtures part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League that is serving as the main route for direct qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.

The 13-team league competition will see the top eight sides, including India as the hosts, earn direct qualification, while the remaining five, along with five Associate sides, will play in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 in Zimbabwe from which two other teams will go through to the global showcase.

Both teams are out of contention for direct qualification to the World Cup, however, Zimbabwe white ball captain, Craig Ervine believes the series remains significant to them.

Raza is playing in the ongoing eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for the defending champions, Lahore Qalandars. The Zimbabwean star has been an integral part of the team and last week, after his heroics with the bat, was honoured for his contribution to the team’s victory.

The 36-year-old was awarded a piece of land in Pakistan, the country where he was born after helping the Qalandars win by 17 runs against Quetta Gladiators on March 2.

For his unbeaten 71 runs off 34 balls after coming in to bat at number seven with his team struggling on 47/6, Raza put up a deserving Player of the Match award display for him to receive the big award from his team. The owners of Lahore are rewarding the players for their performance and giving them an iPhone and a piece of land in the city.

Meanwhile, the Bulawayo Metropolitan Cricket Association (BMCA) has released league fixtures for this coming weekend. Four First League T20 matches will be played over the weekend and also as many matches in the Second League.

On Saturday, Nketa Cricket Club will face Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) at BAC in the morning before Queens Sports Club go on to play against Amakhosi Cricket Club at the same venue in the afternoon. On Sunday, Amakhosi will be up against BAC while Nketa will face Queens with all matches being played at BAC.

In the Second League, Amakhosi will be up against Queens at Emakhandeni Cricket Club while BAC will play against National University of Science and Technology (Nust) at the Academy of Cricket Excellence. On Sunday, Wholesale Beef Bulls will clash against Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) at Academy Ground while at Emakhandeni, Roosters will be up against Nketa.

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