September 25, 2023


All-rounder says Perth upset has opened up Group 2, but adds Zimbabwe are not looking at semis already

Sikandar Raza has termed the one-run win over Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in Perth on Thursday as Zimbabwe’s best victory since he’s been part of the team. When asked if it was bigger than even the 1983 World Cup win over Australia, Raza said that he’d have to ask coach Dave Houghton, who was part of that famous victory in Nottingham, which one was bigger.

“Since I have been part of Zimbabwe cricket, I would rate that the best victory we have ever had,” Player of the Match Raza said during the post-match press conference. “There is no better stage, this is the World Cup, the biggest stage of all, and to beat Pakistan by one run, (defending) a modest total, you are going to have to do everything right to defend that which we did, so that is probably the best victory I have been part of with Zimbabwe.

“I am going to have this conversation with the head coach,” Raza said with a smile. “I am going to ask him which victory was better, 1983 or 2022. I will let him answer that.” Raza hoped that wins such as this one would inspire more people to take up the game as a sustainable career option back home in Zimbabwe.

“We have a lot of youngsters picking up this sport back home. A lot of parents are accepting that their kids can have a future in this sport. I feel this group of players has an added responsibility to make sure cricket grows in Zimbabwe. We always talk that Zimbabwe has a very small pool of players but that is maybe because not many are taking up this sport.

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“We want to make sure that this group of boys can achieve and encourage something, where not just players but their families, everybody, can truly believe that there is a future in the sport and raise the flag high.” Like Ireland’s win over England opened up the Super 12 Group 1, Zimbabwe’s win over Pakistan had done the same in Group 2, Raza said, but added that they weren’t looking ahead to the semis already.

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