After captaining several players in the current Zimbabwe side and coaching some of them at Under-19 level, very few people know the team better than Prosper Utseya.
The 37-year-old former Chevrons off-spinner played alongside several current members of the national team, including skipper Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Tendai Chatara and Sikandar Raza.
He also coached young guns Wessly Madhevere and Milton Shumba in their formative years, including during their participation at the 2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup in South Africa.
While he is no longer actively involved at senior level, Utseya has seen enough in the last couple of months to be firmly convinced that the Chevrons have got a very good chance of reaching the Super 12 at the upcoming ICC T20 World in Australia.
“I strongly believe we have a very good chance of proceeding to the next stage,” Utseya said in an interview with ZimSportLive on Tuesday.
“Our guys are playing some good cricket and with a winning attitude. They just need to go out there and express themselves like they’ve been doing in the last six months,” Utseya added.
Zimbabwe will begin their World Cup campaign in the qualifying round with a date against Ireland on October 17 in Hobart, Tasmania, before taking on West Indies two days later.
The Chevrons will then complete their first-round action against Scotland on October 21.
The top two teams from Group B will join the Super 12 stage, along with the top two teams from Group A which features Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, and Namibia.
Utseya represented Zimbabwe in four Tests, 164 ODIs, and 35 T20 Internationals between 2004 and 2015.
He also captained the side between 2006 and 2010, with the most famous victory of his tenure at skipper coming in 2007 when his side stunned a star-studded Australian side at the 2007 T20 World Cup after an incredible five-wicket victory in Cape Town.
-Reflects on Legends League Cricket experience-
While Utseya will be keenly following the Chevrons’ progress in Australia, he is also reflecting on a successful campaign the Legends League Cricket in India.
Utseya was part of the India Capitals, who won the second season of the competition after a dominant 104-run victory against Bhilwara Kings in Jaipur last week.
For Utseya, the experience in the Legends League Cricket was one he will cherish for years to come.
“The opportunity to represent the India Capitals in the Legends League Cricket is something I will always cherish. The memories of most all being so lucky to share the dressing room with such a wonderful bunch for the last three weeks were an absolute honour,” said Utseya.
The former Churchill High School student was among the three Zimbabweans in the India Capitals squad together with Hamilton Masakadza and Solomon Mire.
The duo of Tatenda Taibu and Christopher Mpofu also featured in the competition as part of the Manipal Tigers.
“I had the chance to reignite some old friendships and a chance to meet up and share experiences with some old rivals which we had in the past while playing against each other but most of all a chance to build lifelong friendships with everyone involved. I couldn’t ask for a better franchise to be part of after having last played seven years ago, also winning the trophy was just brilliant, everyone played a part throughout on an off the field,” said Utseya.