Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
DESPITE outrage poured out on social media by Zimbabwean cricket fans, all rounder Sikandar Raza has been left out of Zimbabwe’s tours to South Africa as well as Bangladesh when the squads were announced on Thursday.
Raza is back in the country after playing club cricket in England and has no contract with Zimbabwe Cricket since ZC decided against offering him a deal for now. ZC acting managing director, Givemore Makoni told this publication that Raza will only have his matter looked at after Zimbabwe’s tours to South Africa and Bangladesh.
The all rounder walked out of his contract with ZC in July, in apparent protest against not being given a No-Objection Certificate to play in the Global Twenty20 League in Canada. ZC had turned down his application for an NOC on the basis that the national team was in camp preparing for the visits to Zimbabwe by Australia and Pakistan.
The away tours to South Africa and Bangladesh scheduled from end of September to beginning of November. Zimbabwe and South Africa clash in three One Day Internationals matches and the same number of Twenty20 Internationals, before Zimbabwe proceed to Bangladesh for three ODIs and two Tests.
Making a comeback after missing the matches against Pakistan are the experience trio of Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams. The three, together with captain Hamilton Masakadza and former skipper Elton Chigumbura should give Zimbabwe with the much needed experience against one of the best cricket sides in the world.
Zimbabwe have also received a massive boost with the return to full fitness of all rounder Solomon Mire, pace bowler Kyle Jarvis, who have both made the squad for the South Africa ODI series together with Peter Moor, Tendai Chatara, Donald Tiripano and Wellington Masakadza.
The up and coming quartet of Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and Ryan Murray complete the 15-man ODI squad for the trip to Mzansi.
South Africa and Zimbabwe will get the series underway when they meet in Kimberley in the first ODI scheduled for 30 September, while Bloemfontein and Paarl will host the other two 50-over matches on 3 and 6 October respectively.
After that, the two teams clash in the fast paced format of the game in the T20I series where matches are scheduled for East London, Potchefstroom and Benoni on 9, 12 and 14 October in that order. Ervine, Kamunhukamwe, Tiripano, Murray and Ngarava, who are in the ODI squad, will have their places taken up by Tarisai Musakanda, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Christopher Mpofu, Tendai Chisoro and Neville Madziva for the T20Is.
From South Africa, Zimbabwe will head to Bangladesh where they will play three ODIs and two Tests. The first ODI is in Dhaka on 21 October, with the other two matches to be played in Chittagong on 24 and 26 October.
Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will then meet in Sylhet for the first Test scheduled for 3-7 November, while the two sides will return to Dhaka for the second and final Test set for 11-15 November.
John Nyumbu and Musakanda will replace Murray and Kamunhukamwe in the ODI squad, with Cephas Zhuwao also joining the side in Bangladesh. Zimbabwe’s Test squad includes Brian Chari and Regis Chakabva.
South Africa tour
Zimbabwe ODI Squad: Hamilton Masakadza (captain), Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wellington Masakadza, Ryan Murray, Tendai Chatara
Zimbabwe T20I Squad: Hamilton Masakadza (captain), Solomon Mire, Neville Madziva, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Christopher Mpofu, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Wellington Masakadza, Tarisai Musakanda, Tendai Chatara
Zimbabwe ODI Squad: Hamilton Masakadza (captain), Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, John Nyumbu, Wellington Masakadza, Tarisai Musakanda, Tendai Chatara, Cephas Zhuwao
Zimbabwe Test Squad: Hamilton Masakadza (captain), Brian Chari, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Regis Chakabva, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, John Nyumbu, Wellington Masakadza, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara