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July 21, 2009
Mark Vermeulen is set to make a return to the international fold after being named in Zimbabwe's one-day squad for the five-match series against Bangladesh at home next month. His selection comes just months after being acquitted of an arson attack which destroyed Zimbabwe's cricket academy in 2006.
The arson attack could have cost Vermeulen up to 25 years in prison. He admitted to starting the fire but was acquitted on the grounds that he had been suffering psychiatric problems, including partial complex epilepsy, ever since he suffered a head injury during an ODI against India in 2004. He made his first steps towards an international comeback when he was named in the A squad for the tour of Namibia in February. He last played an international match in 2004.
Another player making a return to the 19-man squad is the wicketkeeper-batsman Charles Coventry, who last played for Zimbabwe in 2006. There was no place, however, for the former captain Tatenda Taibu, who has been suspended for ten games by the board, despite being acquitted of assaulting Esther Lupepe, Zimbabwe Cricket's general finance manager. Another player dropped from the squad which faced Kenya earlier this year is Malcolm Waller.
"An internal disciplinary team made up of three retired magistrates however found him [Taibu] guilty," Zimbabwe Cricket spokesman Shingai Rhuhwaya told Associated Press. "He has therefore been suspended for 10 matches. He will however be eligible to play for his province."
The two new faces in the squad are the Mashonaland right-arm seamers Trevor Garwe and Admire Manyumwa. There are also recalls for batsman Chamu Chibhabha and offspinner Timycen Maruma.
Bangladesh will play all five matches in Bulawayo from August 9 to 18.
Zimbabwe Squad: Prosper Utseya (capt), Hamilton Masakadza, Ray Price, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Mark Vermeulen, Charles Coventry (wk), Vusi Sibanda, Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura, Chamu Chibhabha, Forster Mutizwa, Keith Dabengwa, Timycen Maruma, Graeme Cremer, Chris Mpofu, Tawanda Mupariwa, Ed Rainsford, Admire Manyumwa, Trevor Garwe
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