Ireland tour of Zimbabwe 2010 September 17, 2010

Shingirai Masakadza picked for Ireland ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zimbabwe have named a full-strength squad led by allrounder Elton Chigumbura for the three-ODI series against Ireland that begins on September 26 in Harare. Zimbabwe last played an ODI series in June and have made just one change to their squad, replacing allrounder Andy Blignaut with Shingirai Masakadza, a seamer and useful lower-order batsman.

The 15 also includes the experienced Tatenda Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza, who has been a prolific batsman at the top of the order and is in form. He recently starred with 90 and 41 for his domestic team Mountaineers in its win against Mashonaland Eagles in the Logan Cup.

Ireland confirmed their decision to tour Zimbabwe in August after the African country had staged Intercontinental Cup fixtures involving Kenya and Afghanistan as well as a tri-series featuring the hosts, Sri Lanka and India in June. Things have been looking up for Zimbabwe in the recent past with former players like Jason Gillespie and Shaun Pollock giving cricket in the country a vote of confidence by taking up coaching assignments with domestic teams.

Zimbabwe has been in self-imposed isolation from Test cricket since 2006 when it didn't have the players to field a competitive team, but the country's cricket board recently laid out an 18-month plan to return. However, Zimbabwe did suffer a setback in August when Scotland refused to tour for their Intercontinental Cup game scheduled for October, following government advice that cited insufficient progress in political reform and the rule of law as reasons to stay back.

Zimbabwe's most recent ODI assignment was a satisfying one, as they beat India - albeit depleted - twice in the tri-series and qualified for the final, where they were trumped by Sri Lanka. The Ireland tour comprises four games, all at the Harare Sports Club, including an Intercontinental Cup fixture on September 20.

Zimbabwe squad: Elton Chigumbura (capt), Graeme Cremer, Chamu Chibhabha, Charles Coventry, Craig Ervine, Greg Lamb, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Ray Price, Ed Rainsford, Vusi Sibanda, Tatenda Taibu, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya.

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  • Andrew on September 23, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    Good batting performance by Zim. Depending on what happens on the last day - I think this test is a bit of a stale-mate under 4 day conditions. I think Zim would only get the better of this contest if it went to a 5th day. That being said - this is what you want from Test candidates. If Ireland bats out a comfortable draw, they should take away alot of confidence for Test status, Zim will be pleased as they have players to come back into the side & should (like Ireland) feel confident when playing Bangladesh. There is a big step up from there against the next tier which would be the WI, NZ & Pakistan.

  • takudzwa on September 22, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    the 2nd string zimbabwe side is playing well... things are certainly looking up 4 zimbabwe... looking foward to them lifting the trophy..

  • Andrew on September 21, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    The other point I'd like to make about Afghanistan (I am a fan of theirs), there is a few suspicions that they are actually Pakistani's with false passports. What muddies the water a bit is that alot of Afghani's learnt cricket in refugee camps in Pakistan. I suppose you could look at the relationship between Pak & Afghan a bit like England/Scotland & Ireland. Also - ODI's aren't necessarily the best forum to decide whether a team has Test credentials. The big advantage Ireland has over Zim, Afghan & Bang is that their players are gaining more & more exposure in ECB competitions. This will boast the quality of their players rapidly. Whatever happens I hope the ICC learn from their mistakes - 1. Bangladesh too soon & too much cricket; & 2. Kenya - left to rot, I think they had more qualifications to be at Test status then Bangladesh!

  • Andrew on September 21, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    Whilst I think Bangladesh were brought in far too earlyfor Test status, (possible political motives), & they were given too many Test series early on, I think the current Bangladesh side is quite good. Shakib & Tamim are 2 players of high quality, throw in a couple of improving batsmen like Siddique, & with their youth they could form a very competitive side in 2 or 3 years. @Nduru - as we speak Ireland have posted a very good score against Zim. - maybe I change my mind - LOL! @Andrew - I believe that Irelands case for Test status is stronger than Bang. was 10 yrs ago. In saying that I believe that Bangladesh would win a Test series against Ireland. The other thing that needs to be mentioned is that whilst Ireland have players in the English squad (hopefully if Ireland did get Test status they will be allowed to play for Ireland minus any qualification period), Ireland are bolstered by Australian born players. Bangladesh to my knowledge have had only Bangladeshi's play for them. TBC

  • Dummy4 on September 20, 2010, 21:44 GMT


  • Jake on September 20, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    @Andrew Only one real world cup under their belts... My main point is... Irelands numbers in comparison to Bangladesh against full members aren't really that diffrent and are about the same... Yet many people are saying Ireland should be promoted and Bangladesh should be demoted... When they are really about the same quality, while some would argue this means they deserve to be promoted, I argue the opposite, that this proves Ireland are not yet ready and that Bangladesh should be demoted alongside the other associates. You can use statsguru to look at the numbers Irish players have produced against the top 8 and see they aren't really that stand out and compared to top 8 are really below class and are on equal footing with Bangladesh... At best. I agree with the point Ireland are a strong push for test status... But to say they deserve test status and Bangladesh don't when they have similar numbers against top teams... Isn't valid.

  • andrew on September 19, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    @ Muzrob : Ireland have played in 3 world cups (2007 ODI, 2009 T20, 2010 T20). During those events they beat Bangladesh twice (07 & 09), Pakistan (07) and Bangladesh recently at home (June 10). (not to mention a 2009 2 run loss to England and a 40 run loss to Australia in 2010). Furthermore in differentiating between Bangladesh's case in 1999/00 and Irelands in 2010 - Bangladesh had basically zero first class experience whilst Ireland have 5 years of Intercontinental Cup (albeit weak competition) in addition to several players (Porterfield, O Brien, Rankin, Stirling, Dockrell + Joyce/Morgan) with either first class county experience or signed to counties for 2011. Clearly Rakesh's point is valid - that is, Irelands case for test status is MUCH stronger than Bangladesh's 10 years ago.

  • Jake on September 19, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    @ Rakesh_Sharma... You say you want Ireland given test status and later on say Bangladesh given test status due to one world cup appearence is a disgrace... Please count how world cups Ireland have currently played in then rethink your comment. I want Ireland to be given test status or atleast be given a proper criteria don't get me wrong, but for you to say a team only playing one world cup and given test status is a disgrace, how can you possibly support an Irish bid? Surely Netherland or Scotland would be better if we are going on world cup appearances?

  • Rakesh on September 18, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    Zimbabwe is already a strong team. They should encourage some of the players who boycotted like Strak, Flower, Goodwin etc to play for couple of years as hey are around 36 to 38 years. I remember Traicos helping Zimbabwe team in 1990 for a year or so when he was 40. This will give immediate stability to the team.

    By the way , Zimbabwe will produce top grade cricketers as the First class cricket in Zimbabwe is very strong. Ireland must be helped by ICC to set up First class structure. This is the responsibility of ICC. Once First class structure is in place or simultaneously they must be given Full Test status.

    Bangladesh is the bigest disgrace in Test cricket in history, Test status given with just one appearance in WC and that too with dubious victory against Pakistan. Afghanistan can beat Bangladesh easily. The only reason for Bangladesh Elevation was due to Indian influence ( tv money) and currupt Dalmia However strangely all Bangladeshi posters here r anti-Indian

  • Dummy4 on September 18, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    I would like to know which coaching assignment Shaun Pollock has taken in Zimbabwe domestic set up as quoted in the third paragraph. On the cricket field i expect 3-0 and Intercontinental match victory. Come on Elton, lift the trophy.

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