Williams pulls out of first Test

HARARE – Sean Williams has pulled out of Zimbabwe’s first Test against Pakistan because “he is not mentally fit to play” due to the ragging payment dispute with ZC. 

The first of the two-match Test series begins at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday morning.

The Matabeleland Tuskers left-handed batsman and spin bowler, who has been capped just once in the five-day version, was set to play his second Test against the touring Asian side.

The 26-year-old all-rounder told the Daily News on Monday that events of the last two weeks, in which players threatened to boycott the ODI series, had made it impossible to play.

“I have not pulled out of the Test squad, I pulled out of first Test because I am not ready for it,” Williams told this paper on Monday.

“Mentally I’m not prepared to play in the Test match after what has happened. I’m not quitting Zimbabwe Cricket but I’m simply in no state to play the game until issues are resolved.”

In-form Williams’ absence will come as a huge blow to a Zimbabwean side which has already lost strike bowler Kyle Jarvis to international retirement and first-choice spin bowler Graeme Cremer, who is protesting against the non-payment of dues.

Asked if he was aware of the consequences of his actions given ZC’s trigger-happy nature, Williams replied:  “Honestly, I don’t know, but playing under these circumstances with a clear head is almost impossible.”

Zimbabwe’s coach Andy Waller expressed disappointing over Williams’ loss.

“Yes, unfortunately Sean has withdrawn from the side. When I spoke to him he said to me that he was not in the right frame of mind to fully focus on his game in the Tests as he has not received his salary on the promised date,” Waller said.

“Obviously, it’s very disappointing to lose a player of Williams ‘quality as he is a key member of the side batting at number five. We would have loved to have him in the side but unfortunately we will have to find a replacement for this Test and hopefully he will be back for the second Test if everything is solved.”

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