All-rounder claims the Perth upset has opened up Group 2, but adds that Zimbabwe are not already considering the semifinals.
Zimbabwe’s one-run victory over Pakistan on Thursday in the T20 World Cup in Perth has been hailed by Sikandar Raza as the team’s biggest triumph since he joined the squad. Raza said that he’d have to ask coach Dave Houghton, who was a part of that illustrious victory in Nottingham, which one was bigger when asked if it was bigger than even the 1983 World Cup victory over Australia.
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During the post-game press conference
Player of the Match Raza said, “Since I have been a member of Zimbabwe cricket, I would rank that the best victory we have ever had.”
“There is no better stage; this is the World Cup, the grandest stage of them all, and to beat Pakistan by one run, (defending) a modest total, you are going to have to do everything perfectly to defend it which we did, so that is probably the best victory I have been a part of with Zimbabwe,” he said.
With a smile, Raza added
” I’m going to talk to the head coach about this.” I’m going to ask him if the victory in 1983 or the one in 2022 was better. He can respond, therefore I will let him. Raza believed that victories like this one would encourage more individuals to take up the sport as a viable career choice back in Zimbabwe.
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“Back home, a lot of kids are taking up this sport. Many parents now acknowledge that their children may become professional athletes. This team of players, in my opinion, bears a greater obligation to ensure that cricket develops in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has a fairly small player base, but perhaps it is because not many people are taking up this sport.
“We want to make sure that this group of lads can accomplish and inspire something, so that not just the players but also their families, everyone, can honestly think that there is a future in the sport and hoist the flag high,” the statement reads.
Zimbabwe’s victory over Pakistan had done the same in Group 2 as Ireland’s victory over England had done in the Super 12 Group 1, according to Raza, who added that they weren’t yet thinking about the semifinals.
“We have opened up the group for everyone, but we are going to approach things one game at a time. In essence, whomever plays good cricket can win. You can never predict Zimbabwe’s future.
The Irish boys also treated the other group in that manner. Zimbabwe has a great opportunity to accomplish anything. I’m not going to begin to consider the semifinal. I’m going to focus on Bangladesh and one game at a time, then move on.