The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ONE of the senior players in the Zimbabwe national cricket team, Sean Williams is eager to get back on the field.
Williams (pictured far right) is one of the players preparing for the proposed visit to the country by Afghanistan at the end of this month. The cricketers have been fine tuning since last month after undergoing coronavirus tests. For now, they are only focusing on the fitness side of things, with bowlers not allowed to bowl at batsmen in the nets.
“I am dying to get back on the field, at the moment we are not allowed to face bowlers in the nets. I miss being out on the field. We haven’t seen each other since Bangladesh tour, it’s been a long time since we got into the middle,’’ Williams said.
The players did fitness tests when they started training and the other assessments are going on at the moment. National team strength and conditioning coach, Walter Karimanzira on Friday took the five Bulawayo-based players through their fitness tests at Queens Sports Club.
Williams, Charlton Tshuma, Brian Chari, Christopher Mpofu and Ainsley Ndlovu are the players training in Bulawayo.
Williams is optimistic the visit by Afghanistan can be given the green light by the Government. Subject to approval, the Chevrons will take on Afghanistan in five Twenty20 Internationals. Zimbabwe had a promising fixture list for 2020 but Covid-19 has seen most of those tours being deferred.
“All the players are hoping that the tour goes ahead, we need to play, we had a good fixture list for 2020 but with Covid-19 we have not been able to play cricket,’’ said Williams.
The left-handed all-rounder feels Zimbabwe’s postponed tour of Australia, where they were meant to play the Aussies in three One Day Internationals would have been a good learning experience especially for the younger players.
“I was so focused on Australia, it was going to be a good tour to go on, that tour being cancelled is going to hurt us more on the experience side.”
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) have written to the Government through the Sports and Recreation Commission for permission to host matches. At
the moment, cricketers are only allowed to train with no game situations permitted. Hamilton Masakadza, the ZC director yesterday said they were still waiting for a response from Government on their request to have matches. He indicated that they cannot conclude dates for Afghanistan’s tour until they have been granted the permission by the Government.
“We have applied to the Government to resume playing, as soon as we get the clearance then we can finalise the dates for the Afghanistan tour. We are talking to Afghanistan and they are keen on coming. We can only get to the last bit of discussions once we get a response from Government, we can’t set dates until we are cleared,’’ Masakadza said.
If given permission to host matches, ZC are also planning to have a national competition for clubs as well as domestic games for the women.
National team players, who have been focusing on the fitness side of things will now shift attention to light skills training as from tomorrow.