Streak, Gripper, Price and Carlisle to return? February 24, 2005

Rebels set for dramatic comeback?

Cricinfo staff

Cricinfo has learnt that four of Zimbabwe's rebels - Heath Streak, Stuart Carlisle, Ray Price and Trevor Gripper - could be in a position to return to the national side in time for the forthcoming Tests against South Africa.

It seems that talks aimed at brokering a deal to bring the remaining striking players back into the fold have progressed well, and another meeting is planned for Friday. If that goes well then the four might play in the forthcoming A-team one-day series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. If they do, then it is quite likely that one or more of them will be drafted into the senior Zimbabwe squad already in South Africa.

A spokesman for Zimbabwe Cricket said that negotiations were still ongoing and, therefore, it would be premature to comment.

It would seem that the main stumbling block in the way of a settlement - the criteria under which selectors are chosen - has been overcome, and it is thought that Zimbabwe Cricket has agreed to review this. That could mean that Max Ebrahim, the head of selectors and the man identified by the rebels as being the main source of contention, would have to step down.

All four rebels have been playing local cricket, and so while they might be lacking first-class practice, all of them are thought to be ready to resume straight away.

Earlier this week Andy Blignaut broke ranks and unilaterally and unconditionally announced that he was ending his strike, a move which is believed to have angered the remaining rebels. Blignaut was immediately drafted into the A-team squad for the final Test starting on Friday.