Zimbabwe A v Bangladesh A June 16, 2006

Mpofu handed international lifeline

Cricinfo staff

Fast bowler Christopher Mpofu has been given a chance to redeem himself after being called up to the Zimbabwe A side for the series against Bangladesh A that gets underway at Mutare on Saturday.

Mpofu, who has fallen out of favour with the national selectors and has not played for Zimbabwe since the second Test against New Zealand at Queens Sports Club in August 2005, was given a late call- up to the second-string side. He was not in the original 15-man squad announced at the beginning of this month and was in Harare training when he was told to make the trip to Mutare.

Should Mpofu impress against Bangladesh A, he would almost guarantee himself a place in the senior squad to play against Bangladesh next month.

A number of players who were originally in the A-team squad are said to have been dropped, and these include Kwawulani Ntuli, Bradley Staddon and Bothwell Chapungu. The trio has no first-class experience, although Ntuli and Chapungu impressed during the hastily-organised National League. Staddon, son of ZC interim executive committee member Stanley, was a surprise inclusion as he has been studying in South Africa for the past two years and has not played any competitive cricket in that time.

Zimbabwe A take on Bangladesh A in the first four-day match at Mutare Sports Club on Saturday with the second match set for the same venue. The two teams move to Bulawayo for the third and final four-dayer at Queens Sports Club before they meet in three limited-overs games at the same venue. The last three limited-overs matches take place at Kwekwe Sports Club.