Cricket World Cup: Which team will your shirt be on? A nation by nation guide to the Cricket World Cup - Zimbabwe

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VERDICT: They have persistently raised their game when playing England, as five wins in six matches demonstrate, but their record against all the other senior nations is pitiful. While they have made some progress, giving Bangladesh and Kenya a recent trouncing, and will not be as fazed as some by English pitches, they will struggle to sustain a challenge. Zimbabwe are still in the early stages of development as a major cricket nation, as Sri Lanka were for years, and could yet fall off the pace. Expect them to win a couple of matches, no more.

EMERGING HERO: Murray Goodwin was born in Salisbury and at 13 emigrated to Australia where he established places both at the Academy and in the Western Australia side. He also played for Holland in the NatWest Trophy. But in September 1997 he regained Zimbawean citizenship and has strengthened the order considerably with his solidity at number three.

ACHILLES' HEEL: Inexperience. Five of their 15 players have played fewer than 20 one-dayers and at this level that is not enough to cope with the variables.

HISTORICAL POINT: Their first hour was their finest. At Trent Bridge in 1983 Zimbabwe played in their inaugural World Cup match against Australia, actually the country's first limited over international. They were put in and made 239 for 6. Australia could reply only with 226 for 7 and the newcomers had won by 13 runs. Duncan Fletcher, their captain, scored 69no and took 4 for 42.

SILLY POINT: Do not expect, in the event of Zimbabwe pulling off a shock or two, that anybody in the opposition will employ that well-known Mashonaland phrase: "We flippin' murdered 'em."

RECORD: 1983 1st round; 1987 1st round; 1992 1st round; 1996 1st round.

SQUAD: A D R Campbell (capt), A Flower, G W Flower, N C Johnson, M W Goodwin, S V Carlisle, H H Olonga, M Mbangwa, H H Streak, A G Huckle, P A Strang, D P Viljoen, E A Brandes, A R Whittall, G J Whittall.

ODDS: 66-1.