Zimbabwe confident of facing crisis-hit Windies

Published: Monday, April 24, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St John's:Zimbabwe are adamant they can shrug off their political problems in time to face a crisis-hit West Indies team when the two sides clash in a seven match, One-day International series.

The visitors arrived late on Saturday and open their three-week trip with back-to-back limited-overs practice matches against Antigua&Barbuda today and tomorrow at the Jolly Beach Resort Ground.

The first and second one-day internationals in the seven-match series will be contested on 29 and 30 of this month at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

"We are tired, but we are looking forward to the tour," said manager Andy Pycroft, the former Zimbabwe batsman.

"We have a very young and inexperienced team which is not used to playing one-day international cricket, but we will look to gain valuable experience on this trip."

Terry Duffin leads the side which drew a series with Kenya six weeks ago, following a settlement of the dispute between Zimbabwe Cricket and the players' union.

"This is the strongest side available, and though we have our own problems, we will focus on playing good cricket. We are not going to get involved in the politics," said Pycroft.

"The team includes a couple of decent spinners in Utseya Prosper, an off-break bowler, and our leggie Ryan Higgins is an exciting prospect.

"Our fast bowling attack relies on swing rather than pace, and our batting is inexperienced but talented."

The Zimbabweans arrived in the Caribbean with the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Players' Association again embroiled in the long-running dispute over players' contracts.

The WICB announced on Sunday that it will meet with the WIPA on Tuesday in an attempt to complete retainer contracts negotiations.

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