Zimbabwe in Canada and Kenya 2008-09

Absences leave Zimbabwe looking weak

Steven Price in Harare

September 26, 2008

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Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans. They are young and a bit immature and I hope they will soon realise that home is homeKenyon Ziehl, the head of Zimbabwe's selection panel
 
Zimbabwe's selectors have been forced to pick a weakened squad for the forthcoming tours of Canada and Kenya after three senior players were declared unavailable.

The biggest loss is Brendan Taylor, the wicketkeeper-batsman who was the star of the Twenty20 win over Australia a year ago. Taylor has often been at odds with the board, most recently over his decision to play the 2008 season in England. While the board has looked to downplay the rift, Cricinfo understands that it has been unable to resolve differences with him.

Another promising youngster, Sean Williams, the former Under-19 captain, is another absentee, with reports suggesting that he is considering a move to South Africa to play for Highveld Lions. However, while that will rule him out of this tour, he is believed to still be interested in continuing to play for Zimbabwe.

"In the long-term [the availability of] Taylor and Williams is subject to discussion," Kenyon Ziehl, the head of the selection panel, told the Independent. "But Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans. They are young and a bit immature and I hope they will soon realise that home is home."

The third player to miss out, Vusi Sibanda, has not fully recovered from a hip injury, although he has started light training.

"It's obviously a blow to go into any tournament without three of your best top-order batsmen," Ziehl said. "But I think it gives opportunities to the younger players to stake their places. It also broadens our base. It's positive on that side."

Zimbabwe squad Prosper Utseya (capt), Stuart Matsikenyeri, Ray Price, Tatenda Taibu, Hamilton Masakadza, Elton Chigumbura, Tawanda Mupariwa, Chris Mpofu, Chamu Chibhabha, Keith Dabengwa, Graeme Cremer, Edward Rainsford, Regis Chakabva, Timycen Maruma, Taurai Muzarabani, Johnson Marumisa, Bonaparte Mujuru, Trevor Garwe.

Steven Price is a freelance journalist based in Harare

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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