Warwickshire Academy will arrive in Zimbabwe tomorrow ready to tune-up their 2023 preparations.

A delegation of 18 will embark on a pre-season tour in Harare that will not only look to build on their cricket skills, but inter-personal skills too.

The group, which will be made up of Academy, EPP (Emerging Player Programme) and Staffordshire dual-registered players will partake in eight full days of cricket that includes five matches.

Similar visits to Sri Lanka and Barbados have proven successful, with High Performance Manager Paul Greetham keen to build on those experiences alongside three coaches.

All 14 players will be training and playing under the watchful eyes of Faisal Shahid, Shaftab Khalid and Mo Sheikh.

“This will be our first time in Zimbabwe, but the reports and information we’ve received are fantastic,” said Greetham.

“Many counties and schools are heading elsewhere for pre-season, so going to Harare will allow us to practice and play in a quieter, professional setting.

“This trip is more than just cricket: I’m looking to see how these aspiring professionals travel, communicate and learn together.

“One of our mantras is ‘team first’ and opportunities like this give me, and the coaches, the chance to see how they respond to playing and socialising in an overseas environment.”

Training at St. George’s College, the group will play two T20 matches against a local representative team on their second day with another pair of T20 fixtures against Hellenic Academy and Peterhouse School three days later, two of the countries leading schools.

Following a day off at the Imire Game Park, the squad will then turn to red ball action, vs Mashonaland Eagles B in a two-day match.

“Mashonaland Eagles are one of the five domestic cricket franchises in Zimbabwe, so that will be a real test for the group,” Greetham added.

“The conditions will be very new to a lot of our players, but I’m excited to see how they respond and learn from the experience.

“We’ve got access to net bowlers each day alongside our own, so there will be plenty of practice time before, during and after matches.

“The schedule we’ve put together is demanding – especially with the fitness and fielding work on top, but I’m sure they’ll return to Edgbaston as better people and cricketers following the experience.”

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