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Mozambique look to spring a surprise

Wed, May 11, 2011 8:56 PM

Although they enter the event as one of the outsiders, Mozambique captain Bineesh Vadavathy believes his side has a chance of qualification from ICC Africa Division 2 which begins in Johannesburg on 14 May.

"We are very much excited and a well prepared unit. We are extremely lucky to have a young and dynamic coach in Ahmad Amla," said Vadavathy.

"Obviously Tanzania, Nigeria and Botswana are the three top ranked teams of Associate countries, but Mozambique is going to have crack on it."

The event, which is the second African qualifying event in the pathway for the ICC World Twenty20 2012, will see Tanzania, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Malawi and Rwanda battling for qualification to the top tier of the Africa qualifiers.

Vadavathy believes that his side is well prepared for the event, as it has solid experience of playing in South African conditions.

"We have played in the South African provincial league and done well, which is a confidence booster. We finished in third place in the Mpumalanga league (SA provincial league) this year," said Vadavathy.

"We have played a number of friendly matches in South African conditions in order to get used to the conditions. The coach has worked hard on our fitness, and we have developed a new attitude towards cricket under him."

While other games may dominate the sporting landscape in football-crazy Africa, cricket is gaining in popularity in Mozambique.

"Though it was a Portuguese colony, the development cycles of the last six years have shown a lot of success, and cricket has become a popular sport among the young Mozambican school kids in Southern Zone and Central Zone of the long coastal Mozambique. An obvious output is you can see cricket in public places on big screens which was a rare thing a few years before," added Vadavathy.

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