Sri Lanka will be hosting Zimbabwe for a set of three ODIs in January as part of the ICC Super League, which counts as a direct qualification event for the 2023 World Cup in India.
Sri Lanka Cricket and Zimbabwe Cricket mutually confirmed the series which forms a part of both countries’ qualification campaign for the next 50-over World Cup.
Top seven teams plus and hosts India will qualify directly for the 2023 World Cup from the Super League. The bottom five teams in the 13-team competition will have to go through a global qualifier in 2022 to try and bag the final two spots for what will be a ten-team ODI World Cup again.
Both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe are precariously placed in the league so far, desperate for points in a key series. While SL are placed sixth with only four wins from their 15 matches, Zimbabwe are languishing at the bottom of the pile with two wins from nine games.
Since each team plays only eight oppositions – four at home and four away – in the Super League, both sides need to pull their socks up if they are to avoid the global qualifier.
Zimbabwe’s head coach Lalchand Rajput is aware of the context and stressed the importance of them defeating Sri Lanka. Zimbabwe can take a lot of heart and inspiration from their historic 3-2 ODI series victory over the Lanka Tigers back in 2017.
“Every game is very important for us because Super League games will decide who can qualify automatically, hence it is important that we prepare well and start well.
“I am a very confident person and always believe that we can beat Sri Lanka, considering that we have had good game time playing the Pro50 tournament [Zimbabwe’s domestic List A competition].”Rajput was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
The three-match ODI series will be played on January 16, 18 and 21. All games to be held in Pallekele. Zimbabwe will reach Sri Lanka on January 10, confirmed SLC, also stating that the matches will be held within a biosecure bubble.