The Sunday News
Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) announced a 15-member squad for next month’s T20 World Cup in Australia on Thursday and cricket fans have expressed their disappointment over the exclusion of certain players from the team.
Tadiwanashe Marumani and Innocent Kaia were the notable absentees from the team as they were put as non-travelling reserves. The exclusion of Marumani has disgruntled cricket fans all over the country. Marumani’s absence from the squad heading Down Under has left fans wondering if a team is really picked on merit and the purpose of domestic leagues if they are not used to select the best performing players.
Clive Madande, who is a backup wicket keeper was preferred over Marumani, who also can keep and has been scoring runs in the Zimbabwe Domestic T10 league, with three half centuries under his name ahead of today’s final when his Great Zimbabwe Patriots face Harare Kings in the final at Harare Sports Club. Madande has one T20 cap under his name, while the 20-year-old Marumani has 13 and cricket lovers have taken to Twitter to air their views on the selection.
StarFM sportscaster, Tafadzwa Tichawangana was one of the people who were unimpressed by the selection, raising concerns which most people were focusing on.
“Huge gamble from the Zimbabwe selectors to pick five players who have been out with injury in the T20 World Cup squad, Madande ahead of Marumani also strange,” he posted on Twitter.
Another Twitter user who goes by the name of Muchy was also surprised at the exclusion of the 20-year-old batsman given his fine form in the domestic T10 league and the way he seemed to understand Australian conditions during the Chevrons’ tour Down Under. On a tour during which Zimbabwean batsmen struggled, Marumani scored 45, 4 and 35 in the three ODIs against the Aussies.
“What was the purpose of the domestic T10 cup? Marumani was in a league of his own in that competition, his form peaked at the right moment, then you drop him from the World Cup squad, make it make sense,” he posted.
The inclusion of Milton Shumba, who has been struggling with injury, ahead of Marumani as well did not sit well with local fans.
A Twitter user by the name Taseclemence said: “Not happy with the fact that Shumba is part of the travelling squad ahead of Tadiwanashe Marumani who has been doing well.”
Another one said: “We need a statement from ZC explaining to the fans how Marumani ended up being a reserve pachiiswa (selecting) someone who hasn’t played recently due to injury wavasiri kutoziva kuti (not knowing whether) he is going to be in form or not. “Dropping Marumani and going with Shumba is the key here, why?”
Zimbabwe’s campaign at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 starts on 17 October, when they face Ireland in the first of three Group B fixtures that will be played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Tasmania. Next up for Zimbabwe is the West Indies on 19 October and then complete their first-round action against Scotland two days later.
The top two teams from Group B will join the Super 12 stage, along with the top two teams from Group A which features Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Namibia. The top two teams from each of the two Super 12 groups will advance to the semi-finals. Before the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 proper gets underway, Zimbabwe will face Sri Lanka and Namibia in warm-up matches scheduled for 10 and 13 October in Melbourne.
Follow on Twitter @brandon_malvin