Overseas trio participate in T20 trials

HARARE - Zimbabwe cricket team assistant coach Stephen Mangongo is delighted with the participation of three overseas professionals at the on-going three-day domestic Twenty20 trials at Harare Sports Club.

Englishmen Mark Pettini and Daniel Housego, alongside Zimbabwean Nathan Waller – who has eyed an international career with Ireland – are the three overseas players taking part in the competition.

The trials are being used as a platform to come up with a squad to represent Zimbabwe at next month's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

The players in the three teams are hoping to catch the attention of selectors and technical staff following the disruption of Zimbabwe’s domestic season by a two-month strike over unpaid match fees and wages.

"Overseas pros give a certain dimension to the game by making the locals boys face opposition that they don't face everyday," Mangongo told the Daily News yesterday.

"We have suffered loss of players opting to play for other countries, Nathan Waller is one of them and he is playing as an overseas player because he is trying to qualify for Ireland, it's his decision and there's nothing we can do."

While lamenting time lost during the strike, Mangongo was hopeful that the trials would allow the selectors to pick a good side.

Zimbabwe was this week granted a week’s extension by the International Cricket Council to finalise their 15-man touring party for the World Twenty20.

"We had to come up with a plan given the circumstances that we found ourselves in lately," he said.

"The games also allow the selectors to deliberate on areas they might have doubts on while giving the coaches a platform to work on combinations and skills. There's no substitute for playing than getting on to the middle."

Some of the players who were axed from the provisional 29-member squad have been drafted in the squads and stand a chance to earn berths for the Bangladesh trip.

These are seamers Trevor Garwe, Taurai Muzarabani, Tawanda Mupariwa, Richard Muzhange and all-rounder Kevin Kasuza.

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