Vermeulen returns to Zimbabwe Test squad
Batsman Mark Vermeulen has been recalled to Zimbabwe's Test squad for the one-off Test against South Africa in Harare starting on Saturday. It will be his first Test in ten years and first international in four years. The 15-man squad has two uncapped players in offspinner John Nyumbu and right-arm seamer Cuthbert Musoko.
Vermeulen had been in impressive form for Zimbabwe A against the touring Afghanistan side recently, with a century in the first unofficial Test in Harare. He was also the second-highest run-getter for Eagles in the 2013-14 first-class Logan Cup with 580 runs in seven games with a century and four fifties. Vermeulen's career had been halted by court cases - he was acquitted of arson - and psychiatric problems.
In a recent interview with ESPNcricinfo, he said how he was desperate to make use of whatever time he had left in the game.
Nyumbu, who plays for Matabeleland Tuskers was the joint-highest wicket-taker in the Logan Cup with 34 wickets, including four five-wicket hauls. Musoko took four wickets for Zimbabwe A in the second unofficial Test against Afghanistan.
Donald Tiripano, the right-arm seamer who has played three ODIs for Zimbabwe, was also named in the squad. Tiripano took a five-wicket haul in the third ODI against Afghanistan.
Although Sikanda Raza was included in the squad, the batsman is still recovering from a broken thumb and will not play in the Test. Zimbabwe's coach Stephen Mangongo confirmed Butt, Musoko and Malcolm Waller would not be in the XI.
Despite Butt's injury, there was no room in the squad for opening batsman Tino Mawoyo, who was part of the 25-man training group. Shingi Masakadza was also left out of the Test squad as well as left-arm seamer Brian Vitori, after picking up an ankle injury.
A dry Harare pitch has led to speculation that spin may become a factor earlier than expected in the match but Zimbabwe's squad did not include some of their better known spinners. Legspinner Natsai M'Shangwe did not make the cut while veteran Prosper Utseya is ill with chicken pox.
Squad: Brendan Taylor (capt & wk), Regis Chakabva, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Hamilton Masakadza, Cuthbert Musoko, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Donald Tiripano, Mark Vermeulen, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams