Fielding is Zimbabwe’s strength: Ray Price

Chennai : Many teams are relying on their strong batting while some on their superb bowling for a good show at the World Cup but minnows Zimbabwe say their biggest strength is their terrific ground fielding.

Experienced leg-spinner Raymond Price, who has figured in 83 ODIs and claimed 80 wickets, said their bowlers would be complimented by their athletic fielders.

"Our greatest strength is fielding. That gives the bowler an extra cushion because I know if I happen to bowl at long hops, the fielders will somehow be able to prevent it from being a boundary," Price said.

Asked how he expects to fare at cricket`s biggest carnival, starting February 19, he said, "I am not a Shane Warne, not blessed with his variations. But I know I can be accurate, and put the ball in the spot. I learned this from my father. He was a golf professional and used to relentlessly practice after office hours. I tried to do the same with

Price said he was not happy with the way things were going in Zimbabwe cricket and that`s why he left the national side in 2004 but rejoined when situation improved.

"I was not happy then about Zimbabwe cricket and then got an offer from Worcestershire, also it was my dream to play county cricket. The conditions and set up were totally different. It was good for me, and helped me become a better professional. There were former international players such as Graeme Hick, and I learned a lot from him, in terms of
preparations and how to carry oneself outside the turf," he said.

"Zimbabwean cricket is only going upwards (now). From not even domestic cricket, the franchisees have put cricket on the right track. There is lot of talent and they are getting exposure. Now we have to bridge the gulf between our domestic cricket and international cricket. Thankfully, a lot of sponsors are interested in the game. We`re more of a soccer nation and it has rubbed on us a bit," he added.

Saying that he was away from international cricket for Zimbabwe, Price said," I missed international cricket for three-and-a-half years. I saw a lot of matches on the television and felt that I wanted to return to international cricket. Then one of the franchisees offered me a contract and I obliged."

Price also said that it was tough for any national team to cope with the transition phase.

"It`s tough for any team if the seniors leave the team at one go. If you take out seven senior players from the Australian side, they would also struggle, and they will also take time to recover," he said.