Zimbabwe news June 24, 2011

Zimbabwe announce limited-overs squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zimbabwe have named their squads for the limited-overs tri-series against Australian and South African A sides, and for a two-day warm-up match preceding their four-day games against Australia A which will set a benchmark ahead of their Test return.

Brendan Taylor, who has just been unveiled as the new national captain, will lead in the one-day games while batsman Vusi Sibanda has been put in charge of a second-string side to play the warm-up at Kwekwe Sports Club, starting on July 11.

A 32-man squad had been in camp since early June, and despite a spate of injuries the team's backroom staff were upbeat ahead of the start of a season in which Zimbabwe's Test readiness will be tested.

"I am pleased with the way the players have responded to the training programme," said national coach Alan Butcher. "Of course, there was some grumbling here and there at first but with the passage of time they all got used to it. The mood in the camp right now is very good. There has been a very great improvement in their physical fitness and technical awareness.

"With a few exceptions, the players are all looking physically fit and strong and are playing lots of cricket among themselves. We have been working hard on both the bowling and batting departments for the last six weeks and it looks good. The guys are bowling a bit quicker in the nets.

"But we cannot be able to judge the progress made so far unless we play other opposition. The proof will be in the pudding when we start playing more against other sides. South Africa and Australia have named strong sides and it's going to be some tough cricket. "But it's good for us ahead of our first Test match in six years," said Butcher.

Assistant coach Stephen Mangongo echoed Butcher's sentiments. "The intensity has been excellent and I am happy some of our key players like Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor are getting it right," he said.

"It's good that our core players are showing this form and are able to stay at the crease for long periods. We need that form and hopefully our confidence levels will improve too," added Mangongo. "These guys have been pushing hard and the more they feel the pressure from the new players the higher they feel the need to raise their game.

"Everyone knows that you have to be on top of your game to be selected. It's not about the names and this is the challenge that most of the players have been facing in the last six weeks. Each player has to prove himself."

One player who appears to have done enough to further his case for selection is 21-year-old left-arm seamer Brian Vitori, who has been included in the limited-overs squad. "He has shown great promise and is doing quite well with the new ball," said Mangongo.

Zimbabwe had also been sweating on Keegan Meth's fitness after he pulled out of a two-day practice game last week after bowling only two overs. His injury was apparently not as serious as previously thought and he has also been included in the squad of 15. Another unexpected name on the team lists is that of allrounder Malcolm Waller. Waller was not part of the original 32-man training squad and was said to have been playing club cricket overseas.

Zimbabwe XI limited-overs squad Brendan Taylor (capt), Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Hamilton Masakadza, Keegan Meth, Christopher Mpofu, Forster Mutizwa, Raymond Price, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Tatenda Taibu, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller.

Zimbabwe XI two-day warm-up squad Vusimuzi Sibanda (capt), Regis Chakabva, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Kyle Jarvis, Gregory Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Natsai Mushangwe, Forster Mutizwa, Njabulo Ncube, Tinashe Panyangara, Malcolm Waller.

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  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    i'm happy Brian Vitori has been selected to represent the country and i hope he will perform well.the left-arm seamer will add variation since not only his bowling style but his pace as well.it's good to see H.Masakadza back in the fold, hope he will prove himself.the home affairs should have fast tracked Raza's papers,it would have interesting to watch the hard hitter face the Aussie attack. well good luck Zimbabwe!all behind you boys....

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Cremer is injured I think this is the best we have got for now ,bt in terms of the captain Iam not sure ,One player who I think should be groomed for captaincy is Reggie Chakabva I think he is such a character who learns quickly and mark my words you will see his perfmance during this tour , Of course we all need Raza in this team hope the home affairs guys are doing all they can .Would love to see Vusi come bek to form and Chatara opening the new bowl with the experienced Mpofu. And maybe Meth or possibly Vittori being the first change ! Go zimbabwe go no time for excuses now cos we have all grown into men! God bless Zimbabwe Cricket

  • Dummy4 on June 26, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    Go Zimbabwe ... Go ... All the cricket world are waiting for re emergence of quality cricket from your soil .. You definitily have talented players .. Some international experience will make them tougher ... Zimbabwe had produced a lot of talented players like the Flower brothers,Heath Streak,Alistair Campbell,Niel Jhonson,Paul Strang etc in the 90s and even almost made to the 1999 WC Semis in England .. Hope This would be a start for a good change in Zimbabwe Cricket

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    wat about tht Pakistani born Zimba(Raza) he'z a hard hitter. Hme affairs shd quickly sort him out before we return to tests

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    where is Cremer...where is Shingi Masakadza in the ODI or at least Jarvis...they got pace bowling talent we could work on...

  • Dummy4 on June 25, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    Was the new captain involved in choosing his charges...?

  • Dummy4 on June 24, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    finally Mutizwa gets the nod. I would have considered Waller for the longer format but not limited overs. I would have taken Mushangwe instead in Cremer's place. That kid has some real talent

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