The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
SENIOR players, Brendan Taylor as well as Sikandar Raza are not part of Zimbabwe’s squad for the five Twenty20 Internationals against Ireland as Zimbabwe Cricket seek a fresh new start.
Zimbabwe Cricket are looking to build a new Twenty20 squad with a decision made that Taylor and Raza will not play in the shortest format of the game going forward. This is understood to be part of the turnaround strategy that the director of cricket, Hamilton Masakadza was asked to come up with to address the poor results being posted by the senior men’s team. Other changes are expected in the coming months in the technical team and the selection panel.
While Raza and Taylor are in camp with the rest of the team preparing for the tour of the European country, this publication can exclusively reveal that the two will play no part in the five-match series that starts on 27 August. It appears what miffed the ZC hierarchy was when Raza was entrusted with the Chevrons captaincy in the T20I series against Bangladesh when he decided to bowl himself and not give the ball at all to Wessley Madhevere in the decider, his competitor for the off-spin bowling slot in the team.
Zimbabwe, who had an opportunity to win their first ever T20I series against Bangladesh lost that last match, which saw the visitors take the three-match contest 2-1.
The Zimbabwean team is in camp in Harare with departure set for Wednesday. Zimbabwe have been boosted by the presence of the left-handed batting duo of Sean Williams and Craig Ervine who missed Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe. Williams should captain the team in both formats.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Emerging lost to Namibia Eagles by seven wickets in the first Twenty20 match played in Windhoek yesterday. Zimbabwe Emerging, captained by Chamunorwa Chibhabha posted 112/8 in 20 overs after they won the toss and opted to bat.
Chibhabha top scored for Zimbabwe Emerging with 35 off the same number of deliveries with the next best score being 20 from Kevin Kasuza. Wicketkeeper, Zane Green top scored for the Namibia Eagles with 81 off 49 deliveries as the home team lost just three wickets in their way to victory, a win achieved with 38 balls to spare.
The two teams meet again in the second T20 today with the last clash in the shortest format of the game scheduled for tomorrow. After that, the focus shifts to 50-over cricket with the matches to be played on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
In another local cricket development, the Thailand women’s cricket team is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe today for four one-day matches on 18, 20, 22 and 24 August, before they meet in three T20Is set for 27, 29 and 30 August, with all the fixtures to take place at Takashinga Cricket Club.
Zimbabwe squad for Ireland tour: Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Wessley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tarisai Musakanda, Dion Myers, Milton Shumba, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Donald Tiripano. — @Mdawini_2.