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Now is the perfect opportunity for us to really focus on the World Cup from a preparation point of view: Temba Bavuma

New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) After South Africa sealed the eighth and last automatic qualification spot for the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup, to be held in India in October-November, skipper Temba Bavuma said the current time is perfect opportunity for his team to focus on the quadrennial event from a preparation point of view.

“I am pleased to learn that we’ve secured our qualification for the upcoming 50-over World Cup that is going to be hosted in India later this year. If I look at the journey, it’s been a tricky one for us as a 50-over team to get to this point, but I think looking at the last couple of months, a lot of positive strides have been made as a team.”

“We are well positioned to build on the momentum and confidence that we’ve gained. Now is the perfect opportunity for us to really focus on the World Cup from a preparation point of view, nail down on our plans and brush up on areas that we feel we need to brush up on,” he said in an official statement by Cricket South Africa (CSA).

The first ODI between Ireland and Bangladesh in Chelmsford being abandoned after persistent rain on Tuesday evening all but gave South Africa a direct ticket to the ODI World Cup, with Ireland now set to participate in the qualifier event in Zimbabwe from June 18 to July 9.

“Personally, it will be a major honour and privilege for me to be leading the team in my first-ever 50-over World Cup and I hope we can achieve some good things as a team,” added Bavuma.

Despite forfeiting the ODI series in Australia to make space for players to participate in the inaugural SA20 league, South Africa had given themselves every chance of qualifying automatically for this year’s ODI World Cup with the series over the Netherlands past the West Indies and into the eighth and final spot on the Super League standings, after starting the year at 11th place.

“On behalf of Cricket South Africa, I would like to congratulate the Proteas Men on automatically qualifying for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. It was by no means a straight forward route to guaranteeing their spot, but the Proteas showed character and now coach Rob and his team can look ahead to preparing for the tournament,” added Pholetsi Moseki, CSA Chief Executive Officer.

–IANS

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