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Racial claims return in Zimbabwe selection

The selection problems that have frequented Zimbabwe over the past years have returned to haunt them again with the latest row being the make up of the team to travel to South Africa to play the SA Composite XI starting on Thursday in Paarl.

Sources say the usual hardliners in Zimbabwe cricket, one being a member the team's technical staff, and who are blamed for the devastating rebellion by 15 senior white players four years ago, are at it again - and it is feared to be racial this time around too.

Our sources say the latest issue stems from the inclusion of batsman Sean Williams in the SA-bound side, a week after being declared to have recovered from a virus which has kept him out of action for some weeks.

Williams' inclusion, and the return of veteran spinner Ray Price, it is said, has irked some officials, who have accused selectors of bias, and arguing that "there are too many white players in the side again."

It is feared the latest politicking could scuttle coach Robin Brown's work plan. Having to deal with some of the forces on a daily basis, Brown has had to contend with the hostility on a personal level, and particularly regarding Williams' selection, which he is accused of influencing.

The hardliners are accused in some quarters for wanting to impose their own players on selectors, with players from the all-powerful Takashinga club being heavily favoured in selection.

Selection wars have contributed hugely to the downfall of the Zimbabwe team in recently years, with the height being the rebel issue which left the team hardly able to compete acceptably even against equal opposition.