The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN cricket umpire, Langton Rusere on Thursday made by becoming the first black African to stand in a Test match.
The 35-year-old match official is one of the on-field umpires for the five-day game between Zimbabwe and Pakistan that started on Thursday at Harare Sports Club. He is standing in the Test with South African umpire Marais Erasmus.
Former Zimbabwe international cricketer Andy Pycroft is the match referee, with compatriots Iknow Chabi and Chris Phiri appointed as television and fourth umpires respectively.
Rusere has not looked back since he stood in his first international match, the Twenty20 international between Zimbabwe and India at Harare Sports Club, on 19 July 2015.
Three months later, he made his one-day international (ODI) bow in the match between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, on 24 October 2015.
After making his mark at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2016 in Bangladesh, he went on to do duty at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 staged in England.
As his stock continued to rise, he was appointed as one of the on-field umpires for the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 final between Australia and England that was played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua in November 2018.
Rusere had also stood in the semi-final between Australia and the West Indies at the same venue.
In February last year, he got his first ever overseas appointment for a bilateral series after he was appointed to officiate in the three-match ODI series between New Zealand and India.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe are fielding three debutants in the first Test against Pakistan. Richard Ngarava, Roy Kaia and Milton Shumba are making their first ever appearances in the longer format of the game. Luke Jongwe, who impressed in the Twenty20 International series, will not be making his Test debut.
For Pakistan, bowling all-rounder Sajid Khan is making his first appearance in Test cricket for the Asian nation.
Zimbabwe stand in captain, Brendan Taylor won the toss and chose to bat first.
Zimbabwe XI: Prince Masvaure, Kevin Kasuza, Tarisai Musakanda, Brendan Taylor (captain), Milton Shumba, Roy Kaia, Regis Chakabva (wicketkeeper), Donald Tiripano, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava.
Pakistan XI: Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (captain), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket)keeper, Faheem Ashraf, Noman Ali, Hasan Ali, Sajid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi.