Kyle Jarvis fields from his own bowling during a match between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Kyle Jarvis fields from his own bowling during a match between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Zimbabwe go into the Cricket World Cup as the lowest ranked of the top playing nations.

They're 10th in the one-day rankings, with just Afghanistan and Ireland behind them.

Zimbabwe first competed at a World Cup in 1983 and has competed at every one since, with their best result making the Super Six stage in 1999 and 2003.

They will again struggle to make the quarterfinals and their group B matches against Ireland and the United Arab Emirates will be crucial if they're to advance.

They are also likely to need a result against one of the big sides in the group: South Africa, India, Pakistan and the West Indies.

Zimbabwe have certainly had some stars of the game over the years, including Duncan Fletcher, David Houghton, Grant and Andy Flower, and Heath Streak, while Graeme Hick got his start in the game there.

However this team isn't well-known. They've had the odd success in recent years, highlighted by a win over Australia in a one-day game, their first over Australia in 31 years.

Zimbabwe is coached by Dav Whatmore, the Sri Lankan born Australian test cricketer who has also coached Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Whatmore has experienced players like Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza, while the team is captained by Elton Chigumura, who has played more than 160 ODIs.

Capturing wickets could be the main source of concern for Zimbabwe.

Key players: Wicket-keeper and batsman Brendan Taylor, all-rounder Sean Williams.

Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (captain), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Solomon Mire, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tinashe Panyangara, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams.

February 15th: Zimbabwe vs South Africa, Seddon Park, Hamilton.
February 19th: Zimbabwe vs UAE, Saxton Oval, Nelson.
February 24th: Zimbabwe vs West Indies, Manuka Oval, Canberra.
March 1st: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan, Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane.
March 7th: Zimbabwe vs Ireland, Bellerive Oval, Hobart.
March 14th: Zimbabwe vs India, Eden Park, Auckland.