Zimbabwe in New Zealand, 2012 January 12, 2012

Matsikenyeri back for New Zealand tour

ESPNcricinfo staff
22

Top-order batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri has made a comeback to the Zimbabwe squad for their upcoming tour of New Zealand. Vusi Sibanda missed out since he was ineligible for selection, after declining a domestic contract in favour of playing grade cricket in Australia. There were no other surprises in the 16-member side that will be led by Brendan Taylor.

Matsikenyeri played the last of his 108 ODIs in March 2010 before being dropped from the side. He has had a good run of form for the Mashonaland Eagles in domestic cricket, which helped him force his way back into the national squad. "Stuart Matsikenyeri has earned a recall into the national squad as he has done very well in the domestic competitions and is one of the few batsmen who has been consistent," Givemore Makoni, convener of selectors, said. "He is an experienced and aggressive player."

Zimbabwe Cricket's eligibility policy for selection provides for exceptions in the case of one-off tournaments abroad in which case a no-objection certificate is issued, such as the one given to Taylor for his foreign assignments. Sibanda, unlike Taylor, declined a ZC contract, which ruled him out of contention.

Legspinner Graeme Cremer finds a place in the Test side, but will make way for Prosper Utseya ahead of the limited-overs leg of the tour. The series will comprise a one-off Test starting January 26, followed by three ODIs and two Twenty20s.

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  • mahjut on January 14, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Aus are riding on the tails of their bowlers ... their batting is still dodgy though, it's still a fair bit better than Zims so we have our work cut out no doubt. We will struggle with the lively NZ bowling (though I think NZ may suit some of our quicks - looking forward to seeing some of them under the speed-gun - who might manage to make some of the games respectable. Let's see. What is sure, is going in without an 'actual' opener will increase the gradient of the already uphill struggle by at least an extra 10 degrees. the country vs country analysis can be misleading... we nearly beat NZ, they beat Oz by similar sort of margin ... Zim = Aus ... lol

  • zimlover on January 14, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    @manjut i hope the guys do make it in newzeland i hope they play 4 fast bowlers and 7 strong batsman cause newzeland recently beat the australia and the australians are looking unstopable, at the moment with india being white washed, anywhere good luck to the boys, if they manage to win any one match they would have done very well

  • mahjut on January 13, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    @Simba-Chi. I will write one more message about this affair. ZC have not been consistent or clear anymore than Vusi has been sensible about the whole affair. The rule, on ZC site, says that a player must be contracted domestically in order to be selected for the national team - but i'm fairly sure they didn't apply that rule to Sean Ervine when drafting him in to the WC squad. Ok, new head-selector may be an excuse for that inconsistency but why call Vusi from Australia (which required him to break the grade cricket contract) to join the squad? Was he not contracted to play for the Rhinos this week (genuine question) - therefore creating a loophole in the law which is obviously bendable anyway?)? There are other concerns about the way it was dealt with, don't you rmember reading here in a statement by the head coach that he fully expected Vusi to be a part of the squad (when a reporter raised the question of this clause)? Where was the clarity? consistent maybe, but still idiotic

  • dummy4fb on January 13, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    Shame! Vusi is zim best btsman now

  • mahjut on January 13, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    @ Karlington Mahlanze yes, 'should have' is correct. precedence set with Ervine wouldn't have aided clarity though, would it? I wonder why they brought him back from Australia? Can you clarify the rule...and that he was not contracted to play for the Franchise this week? @Hrit24 ... Matsi will be there for the ODIs where he's done a more than competant job domestically and if i recall didn't do awfully in the T20 tournament not too long ago. Who would Ervine have replaced in the test batting line-up? Taibu, Taylor, Hammie, Tino and to some extent Waller (cetainly for this test) are now certainties (Vusi would've been too) and the next on the list would be Mutizwa who 'deserves' it more than Craig on domestic form!

  • mahjut on January 13, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    The selectors have said why (released on the ZC site) ... but it isn't saitisfactory to me in the slightest! utter rubbish we have to endure. anyway, @zimlover - i get my wish (i'm confident) that Forster makes the starting line-up...and even after his duoble failure this week i wish him the best though they'll probably open with him 8| going by the way they've managed him so far!

  • simba_chi on January 13, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    I feel that it is good that ZC has come out consistently on their selection policy. As much as we need the best cricketers on the field, we also need the most committed players. When Vusi rejected the ZC domestic contract he knew very well the consequences, so I dont see what the big fuss is about. He chose grade cricket in Oz probably because it pays him more - which is not a bad thing, the man also needs to eat. Where he probably erred was by not trying to engage ZC to award him the clearance. The only way our domestic cricket is going to grow is if our best players play in it - this will translate to more crowds, more sponsors and more money for the players. Having said that though, ZC also needs to find ways of keeping these hard working players satisfied even during these early tough times.

  • dummy4fb on January 13, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    My dissapointment is with the non selection of Vusi and Craig Ervine. But then who am I to quesztion a decision made by national selectors. However, I think selectors need to be named and shamed should things go wrong, and likewise praised should the team perform well. They shouldn't just pick a team and go into hiding as they do now.

  • dummy4fb on January 13, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    vusi should have known better. he knew the rules and went against them and now he is paying the price. he should have agreed with ZC before going to Australia. the will be greatly missed though. i am not sure about playing cremer in test matches only. i would have him in all formats for zim.

  • Hrit24 on January 13, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    I did not expect this from ZC. They have just left out Sibanda because he went to play a bit of club cricket in Australia! Vusi is such a key player for the team and alongwith Mawoyo had the highest opening pair averages in 2011. It seems ZC are going back to their older ways of leaving out players who went to play abroad. And furthermore, though I must admit that Matsikenyeri had a good performance in the Logan Cup, Craig Ervine had a far, far better performance than him. Ervine not only merited a place in the Test squad, he "deserved" it.

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