Friend to play in Sydney Shires cricket
Travis Friend, the sacked Zimbabwe allrounder, has fallen from Test status to second-tier club cricket in six months and will play in the Sydney Shires competition this weekend.
Like exiled countrymen Sean Irvine and Andy Blignaut, Friend will spend the summer in Australia. But unlike his higher-profile team-mates, he struggled to attract any first-class interest and accepted an offer with the South Sydney club, which plays in a competition one step lower than grade cricket and includes the former Bangladesh captain Aminul Islam.
Friend, who bowled in the last of his 13 Tests in March against Bangladesh, was part of a group of 15 white players who accused the Zimbabwe Cricket Union of racist selection policies.
"I did realise it would be a lot harder for me [playing overseas] than some of the other guys," Friend told The Sydney Morning Herald. "I was looking to go anywhere. I was prepared to start from the bottom and work my way up."