“This trophy is a painful reminder of the dreams that we had,” said Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza, Man of the Tournament of ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 held by Zimbabwe.
Raza has been named Man of the Tournament after Sunday’s Final between Afghanistan and Windies which Afghanistan won by seven wickets. Raza showed excellent display in the tournament for his 319 runs at a strike rate of 109, 15 wickets and three Man of the Match awards.
But Zimbabwe couldn’t make themselves into the World Cup for next year after they suffered a shocking loss to UAE in their last Super Six match.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Raza almost broke down. He said, “Certainly not happy at all. This trophy is a painful reminder of the dreams that we had, of the 15 million dreams we crushed. When I started playing cricket, I thought it was to unite the country, players of different backgrounds, everyone who comes together to play this beautiful sport. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow. This trophy will also serve as a reminder for Peter Borren and the Dutch players, for Kyle Coetzer and his Scottish players, for Mustafa and his UAE players, and all the countries who couldn’t make it to the World Cup. Congrats to Nepal on the ODI status. This trophy will also serve as a painful reminder for the two of our brother countries (Hong Kong and PNG) who lost their ODI status. I wish them luck. Not much to say; going through a lot of emotions.”
The 2019 World Cup in England and Wales will only include 10 teams. In 2011 and 2015 editions, 14 teams played while 16 teams played in 2007 World Cup.
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com