Zimbabwe national cricket team (Chevrons) coach Dave Houghton is very happy with the preparations the team has had ahead of the International Cricket Council World Cup qualifier starting this weekend.

Yesterday, he told the media that his players are in the best condition.

“In April, we undertook a six-week fitness camp, so I am pleased to say going into this tournament, not only have I got a full strength squad for the first time in my year’s tenure but everybody is looking fit, lean and really looking forward to go,” he said.

He added that playing in front of home crowds will spur his players.

“The advantage is not so much the facilities, because it’s a really good wicket and a quick outfield, the advantage of playing at home is the crowds. We will have a lot of people cheering us on which adds a little bit in terms of the ability on the field. You get that extra push from the crowds.”

The hosts will start off the 10-nation tournament with a match against Nepal at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

Today, they play a warm-up match against Oman at Takashinga Cricket Ground.

All the 10 teams taking part in the 2023 ICC World Cup qualifier are already in Zimbabwe ahead of the tournament start.

The hosts will face the West Indies, the Netherlands, Nepal and the United States of America (USA) in Group A.

The Qualifiers 2023 are to be played across four venues in Harare and Bulawayo from 18 June to 9 July.

Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) make up Group B.

Each match will be high stakes, with teams contesting for two places at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India later in the year.

The top three from each group will progress to the Super Six stage where each team will play three matches against the sides they did not meet in the group stage.

All points won in the groups will be carried over to the Super Six stage, apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group.

The finalists will both progress to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier is the culmination of four years of hard-fought competition and brings together the bottom five teams from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, three automatic qualifiers from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League Two and two teams who gained entry from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff.