Coach Houghton Rallies Zimbabwe for Redemption in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

Zimbabwe’s coach Dave Houghton expresses disappointment over the team’s lackluster performance in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, aiming to regroup swiftly after a loss to Namibia.

Zimbabwe’s coach, Dave Houghton, has described his team’s initial display in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier Africa Final 2023 as ’embarrassing.’ He’s urging his players to swiftly recover from this setback and redirect their efforts towards returning to winning ways.

Houghton had set his sights on securing a top-two finish to claim one of the remaining spots for next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. However, the team faced a tough start, suffering a seven-wicket defeat to Namibia on Wednesday.

Despite winning the toss on a favorable batting surface, Zimbabwe could only manage 132/8. Namibia’s formidable batting, led by Nikolaas Davin’s impressive 89, comfortably chased down the target with over five overs to spare.

Expressing deep dissatisfaction, Houghton labeled the performance as ’embarrassingly bad’ and found it challenging to pinpoint the reasons behind the team’s poor performance during the match.

“After the game, I spent considerable time in the dressing room with the team, and when questioned about our performance, I can say that we got everything wrong,” remarked Houghton as quoted by ICC.

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“Today, our performance was abysmal, embarrassingly bad. It’s possibly one of the worst games I’ve ever been associated with while wearing the Zimbabwean jersey.”

“I can’t comprehend why it happened. We put in rigorous training sessions, focusing on specific areas. The players showed tremendous effort in preparation, but our batting, bowling, and fielding were all subpar,” he added.

Emphasizing the urgency of moving past the defeat, Houghton urged his players to shift their focus to the upcoming matches.

“We can’t dwell on these losses. While it’s crucial to acknowledge the gravity of this defeat, we have a quick turnaround. We need to rectify things tomorrow and secure a win to kick-start our journey towards qualification,” stressed Houghton.

With just two spots available for next year’s 20-over tournament, Houghton acknowledges the necessity for Zimbabwe to win all five remaining matches for a chance to progress.

“Despite this dismal start, we understand the need to win the next five games to qualify. It’s crucial for us. Today hasn’t been my best or happiest day. In fact, I feel like we should apologize to our fans,” expressed Houghton.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to face Tanzania at the United Cricket Ground in Windhoek on Thursday.

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