Top-order batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri has made a comeback to the Zimbabwe squad for their upcoming tour of New Zealand. Vusi Sibanda missed out since he was ineligible for selection, after declining a domestic contract in favour of playing grade cricket in Australia. There were no other surprises in the 16-member side that will be led by Brendan Taylor.
Matsikenyeri played the last of his 108 ODIs in March 2010 before being dropped from the side. He has had a good run of form for the Mashonaland Eagles in domestic cricket, which helped him force his way back into the national squad. "Stuart Matsikenyeri has earned a recall into the national squad as he has done very well in the domestic competitions and is one of the few batsmen who has been consistent," Givemore Makoni, convener of selectors, said. "He is an experienced and aggressive player."
Zimbabwe Cricket's eligibility policy for selection provides for exceptions in the case of one-off tournaments abroad in which case a no-objection certificate is issued, such as the one given to Taylor for his foreign assignments. Sibanda, unlike Taylor, declined a ZC contract, which ruled him out of contention.
Legspinner Graeme Cremer finds a place in the Test side, but will make way for Prosper Utseya ahead of the limited-overs leg of the tour. The series will comprise a one-off Test starting January 26, followed by three ODIs and two Twenty20s.