Duffin to be named as Zimbabwe captain
The Zimbabwean team is in Harare where they are training under Kevin Curran, and the selectors are expected to name the final squad of between 15 and 16 players tomorrow morning. Curran confirmed Duffin's appointment, adding that "it does not matter that he has not played one-day international cricket."
Duffin, a 23-year-old solid opening batsman with an ability to build an innings, made his Test debut against India at Bulawayo in September last year and became the sixth Zimbabwean batsman to score a half century on debut. However, he has never played an ODI and his only meaningful experience of the limited-overs game came when he captained Zimbabwe A against Bangladesh A in five matches in March last year.
The move to appoint Duffin as captain is said to have angered some black players who feel that Zimbabwe Cricket used them, claiming that they had been promised the post following the resignation of Tatenda Taibu. One of these players who is understood to unhappy is medium-pace bowler Blessing Mahwire, who has 10 Test and seven one-day appearances to his name.
Allrounder Andy Blignaut, who was touted to take over the captaincy from Tatemda Taibu, is reportedly still in South Africa where he is playing franchise cricket for Highveld Lions on a deal was that was brokered by Zimbabwe Cricket. But, despite comments to the contrary by the board, he has made it clear that he is not willing to play until he is paid match fees for the New Zealand, India and Kenya tours in 2005.