All set for T20I tri-series
29 June 2018
ZIMBABWE Cricket will get back to the international field for the first time since the infamous and heartbreaking United Arab Emirates ODI Qualifier that booted them out of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Zimbabwe resume their international play with a T20I tri-series against Australia and Pakistan but with a totally different mindset, slightly different squad and new set of in-house issues with a number of players.
From the 2018 Qualifier, coaches Heath Streak and Lance Klusener have left while senior players Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza Butt and Sean Ervine have taken a back seat, at least for now.
And for this T20 tri-series, interim coach Lalchand Rajput has come in alongside returnees Elton Chigumbura, Chamu Chibhabha, Brian Chari, Wellington Masakadza and Chris Mpofu.
Batters Tarisai Musakanda and Ryan Burl have been pretty much on the fringes during the 2018 Qualifier whilst Brandon Mavuta and Ryan Murray patiently wait for their turn.
That’s how far things have gone about since Zimbabwe last played an international game in March; more so at Harare Sports Club.
It remains to be seen which Zimbabwe will turn up against Australia and Pakistan and how much the players have exorcised the UAE demons among other pending welfare issues.
The Australia-Pakistan tri-series commences this Sunday and in hindsight, it’s a perfect opportunity for Zimbabwe to prove a point to the cricketing world against the world’s best T20I sides.
Just one win will make Zimbabwe (on 58 points) move on the ICC T20I Team Ranking overtaking Scotland into 11th position with 64 points whilst winning three games takes the hosts to 10th position with 70 points past Bangladesh.
But players in Zimbabwe squad, particularly the returnees and rookies, would want to make a lasting impression with the slightest opportunity to play they get in this tri-series.
The absence of the five senior players has become a blessing in disguise for other players to step it up and reclaim their positions especially in the wake of upcoming ODIs against Pakistan and tour of South Africa.
The Australia-Pakistan tri-series will be a perfect opportunity, the best platform for Zimbabwe to cover up for past failures, restore lost pride and regain the confidence of fans.
And for whichever player, it’s high time to make the hard yards, make it count and be of value.
At Harare Sports Club
July 1 -Zimbabwe v Pakistan
July 2 -Pakistan v Australia
July 3 -Australia v Zimbabwe
July 4 -Zimbabwe v Pakistan
July 5 -Pakistan v Australia
July 6 -Australia v Zimbabwe
July 8 -FINAL
*all matches 10am start.
Cephas Zhuwao, Chamu Chibhabha, Brian Chari, Tarisai Musakanda, Malcolm Waller, Peter Moor, Tendai Chisoro, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Chris Mpofu, Ryan Burl, Solomon Mire, Ryan Murray, Hamilton Masakadza, Wellington Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura.
Aaron Finch (cpt), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Bill Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson and Andrew Tye.
Sarfraz Ahmed (cpt), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Sahibzada Farhan.