As India celebrated their third successive ODI away series win in the dressing room, the Zimbabwe players waited patiently next door. Once the champagne had finished, Indians had visitors trooping in from the opposite camp.
A 0-5 loss would have meant a quick exit from the Queens Park Club, but the Zimbabweans stayed back for cricketing lessons from the Indians.
These are players who want to match the world champions and dream of playing in the IPL. But for that to happen, Zimbabwe need to play more. In 2012, they did not play a single international on home soil.
Last year, Zimbabwe played 11 ODIs. Since June, India have played 15. This year, they have had more exposure. After India, Pakistan and Lanka are to tour this month.
They had a two-month training before the start of the season, but in the absence of regular international competition, they have failed to grow.
Skipper Brenda Taylor agreed: “We need to play more cricket. That is what we have been crying out for a long time. Fortunately, we have India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka this year, which is fantastic. We need to tour more.”
Zimbabwe are the least lucrative side in international cricket, and have only travelled to West Indies this year.
Zimbabwe Cricket president Peter Chingoka says financial strife was making it tough for cricket to grow in the country. He felt ‘A’ tours were the need of the hour.