Four players from the Zimbabwe squad currently playing the ODI series against Afghanistan - Ryan Burl, Tarisai Musakanda, Carl Mumba and Richard Ngarava - have been picked in the Zimbabwe Academy side that will tour England this summer.
The tour will be overseen by Zimbabwe Cricket's selection convener Tatenda Taibu and coach Stuart Matsikenyeri, and Taibu hoped the challenging games on tour would help the players grow further in the future.
While left-handed batsman Burl - who has an average of above 40 in both first class and List A cricket - and left-arm pacer Ngarava made their ODI debut in the first match against Afghanistan on Thursday, Carl Mumba and Tarisai Musakanda have been part of the international set-up since Sri Lanka's tour of Zimbabwe in October 2016. Mumba is the most experienced of the four, having played two Tests and one ODI, taking 8 wickets in his short international career.
ZC have not appointed a captain in the 16-member squad, and the responsibility will be shared between players during the tour to allow the selectors to gauge potential leaders. Fixtures against second XIs from Northamptonshire and Worcestershire have already been confirmed while the team is also expected to play against a few ECB Premier League representative sides.
"Getting the squad down to just 16 players was an incredibly hard task and there are several players who were very unlucky not to make the cut," Taibu said. "We have selected a strong group of players, with an excellent mix of youth and relative experience.
"These 16 players have demonstrated their cricketing ability but also show potential to become great ambassadors for Zimbabwe cricket in the future. The aim of the tour, which will include some challenging matches, is to help them realise these ambitions."