Zimbabwe news January 26, 2011

Ervine pulls out of World Cup squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sean Ervine has pulled out of Zimbabwe's squad for the World Cup, and will remain at Hampshire in 2011. Ervine, who had been named in both the preliminary and finalised squads for the tournament, had a change of heart shortly before the national team were due to depart for a training camp in Dubai.

"After having had time to reflect on all of the circumstances, I have realised that this is not the right time to leave Hampshire," said Ervine. "I have a great relationship with this club and its supporters and I feel like part of a family. I feel Hampshire is my home; so much so that I am planning to get married there next year. I do not, therefore, want to be away for long periods of time."

It had appeared certain that Ervine would part ways with Hampshire to reignite his international career, which he described as his "ultimate goal", but his decision not to play for Zimbabwe means he will not be considered an overseas player - a position filled by legspinner Imran Tahir at Hampshire - and will therefore be eligible to play for the county in all forms of the game in 2011. Ervine had proved a success in his six years with the club, helping the team to three trophies, scoring 3,956 first-class runs and taking 118 first class wickets in the process.

"We are very happy that Sean has come to this conclusion," said Hampshire manager Giles White. "He is an important and highly-valued cricketer who is popular with everyone associated with The Rose Bowl and central to our plans for the future."

Alistair Campbell, the head of Zimbabwe's selection panel and former national captain, expressed his disappointment at Ervine's withdrawal. "Zimbabwe Cricket was very excited about Sean coming back into the setup. However, he may not have realised that international cricket is a lot harder than he remembers," Campbell said in a ZC statement.

"He has lived a very comfortable life in county cricket for the last six years and obviously decided at the last minute he might not be up to the challenges of international cricket after all. A lot of people have gone to a lot of effort to make it happen for Sean. Although is very late in the day to change his mind, it is better than realising his mistake during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011."

ZC has approached the ICC Event Technical Committee to seek approval for batsman Tino Mawoyo to replace Ervine in the squad. An opening batsman, Mawoyo played two one-day internationals against Bangladesh in 2006 and is a regular in the Zimbabwe A line-up. He had been named as a non-travelling reserve for the World Cup before Ervine's last-minute departure. Craig Ervine, Sean's younger brother, remains part of Zimbabwe's squad.