Ervine takes responsibility for poor form

Skipper vows to work hard ahead of T20 World Cup qualifier

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Craig Ervine chips a return catch to Nijat Masood during the first T20I against Afghanistan at Harare Sports Club last week Pic by Jekesai Njikizana

Zimbabwe’s white-ball captain Craig Ervine has taken responsibility for the Chevrons’ forgettable whitewash across both limited-overs formats against Afghanistan on home soil.

Ervine endured a difficult tour against the Afghans, averaging just 20.66 runs in the three-match ODI series in which the hosts were outclassed 3-0 to miss out on valuable ICC ODI Super League points which were on offer.

The usually reliable top-order batsman also struggled in the three-match Twenty20 international series managing scores of 9, two and one as the hosts slumped to another series whitewash.

Ervine had no hesitation in admitting that he was far from his best during the series and vowed to work harder ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifier to be staged in the country next month.

“Look I will be the first one to put my hand up to say that I was poor in this series with the bat and I know that there are a few technical issues that I really need to work on,” the 36-year-old left-hander said.

“For the next few weeks, I will be sitting down with the batting coach (Lance Klusener) and making sure that when it comes to the qualifiers, I am in much better form than I have been over the last two weeks.”

Ervine said qualification for the T20 World Cup to be played in Australia later this year is a must for the Zimbabwean side who will be seeking to claim one of the two tickets on offer in the eight-team qualifying tournament which includes Jersey, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and Uganda.

“Our first step is making sure that we qualify in a few weeks’ time. I think that has to be our priority now I don’t think we should look too far ahead; we’ve got to concentrate on what we need to do in order to help us qualify,” he said.

-Houghton effect-

Ervine also shared his sentiments on the appointment of Houghton as the new head coach for the team, taking over from Indian Lalchand Rajput, who was deployed to the peripheral role of technical director.

Dave Houghton

“Dave Houghton is an important part of Zimbabwe cricket, he has been around Zim cricket, you know he is an important figure and I think he is very well respected. I don’t see why there will be any issues there.

“I have worked with Dave at Tuskers a few years back and I think just the reputation that he holds will get the best out of the youngsters I think his way of coaching and the clarity that he brings will be good for the young guys to look up to,” he said.

Former South Africa all-rounder Lance Klusener was also added to the technical team as the batting coach while ZC is set to announce a new bowling coach soon.

ZC is hoping that the reshuffle will boost the country’s chances of qualifying for the 2022 T20 World ahead of the qualifier which will be hosted in Zimbabwe next month.

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