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Wisden Cricinfo staff
August 26, 2004
The fate of Zimbabwe's rebel cricketers was seemingly signed and sealed today, as the Zimbabwe Cricket Union unveiled its list of contracted players for the 2004-05 season. Of the 15 players who protested against the politicisation of Zimbabwean cricket, only three - Barney Rogers, Gavin Ewing and Charles Coventry - have been included.
The rest, it must be assumed, are unlikely to play for their country again, although with the long-awaited arbitration process due to be completed in October, the ZCU has left the door slightly ajar by announcing that 22 player/coach contracts will be considered, in addition to the 29 players already unveiled. For the likes of Heath Streak, Grant Flower and Ray Price, all of whom have turned to county cricket since the dispute erupted, it might yet be a means of returning to the fold in one capacity or another.
For the time being, however, the contracts have been split into three tiers - National, Level I Senior and Level I Junior. Rogers, a 22-year-old left-hand batsman and part-time offspinner, is one of nine cricketers to be awarded the top-level deal. He made a pair of half-centuries in the recent one-day series against Bangladesh, and has been identified, along with Tatenda Taibu, Mark Vermeulen, Dion Ebrahim, Douglas Hondo, Mluleki Nkala, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Alester Maregwede and Blessing Mahwire, as a core member of Zimbabwe's future Test team.
Ewing and Coventry have been awarded Level 1 Senior contracts, along with Vusi Sibanda, Tinashe Panyangara and Brendan Taylor, all of whom have made important contributions to the team in recent months, while the Junior level consists of ten promising young players. Of these, only Waddington Mwayenga has had international experience, although his one wicket to date is a notable one - Ricky Ponting, stumped by Taibu for 10 during a one-day international at Harare.
Level 1 Senior
Level 1 Junior
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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