Zimbabwe missing next month’s T20 World Cup 2024 would haunt the team for years, captain Sikandar Raza said on Thursday, on the eve of its white-ball series in Bangladesh.

Minnows Namibia and Uganda beat out Zimbabwe in the African leg of the qualifiers last year to join the world’s top teams at the tournament, jointly hosted by the United States and West Indies.

“I think that’s something that will always be painful. Not just when we play, I think even when we retire,” Raza told reporters in Chittagong.

“It’s not just pain that we’re feeling now, I think it’s something that we’re going to have to carry for a long time,” he added.

But he added that Zimbabwe had no shortage of motivation for its time in Bangladesh, with the first of five T20 matches beginning in Chittagong on Friday.

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“We have a huge responsibility back home as well for the people and the kids that are playing this sport and the kids who want to make a career out of this sport. The future of the sport in (my) country is enough motivation for me to try and take away the pain,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s tour will also be Bangladesh’s last series at home before it embarks for the World Cup.

“All I can say is that the series will not be easy. There will be a very competitive series because they’re a good team,” Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto said