Opportunity knocks for fringe players

HARARE - Zimbabwe A’s tour to Bangladesh provides an ideal platform for fringe national team players, domestic cricket’s best performers and Under-19 graduates to stake claims for places in the full national side – says chief selector Givemore Makoni.

Zimbabwe Cricket last week named a 15-man squad for the country’s second-string side’s first overseas tour in years. 

The squad includes players who have national team caps, but have not cemented their places, alongside the best performing players in domestic competitions and a few who played in this year’s edition of the Under-19 World Cup.

The team, coached by Walter Chawaguta and assisted by selector on tour Wayne James, leaves for the subcontinent on June 28 for two four-day games and three one-day matches.

Of the youth brigade, the most notable selections are Mashonaland Eagles wicketkeeper-batsman Joylord Gumbie and his Under-19 teammate, all-rounder Luke Jongwe.

The two also had glimpses of brilliance in the domestic season, sufficient to catch the selectors’ eye.

“These tours are essential in preparing the next crop of players who will make it into the national team,” Makoni told the Daily News yesterday.

“It is also a platform where fringe players get an opportunity for game time. This team comprises of people who have not seen much game time with the national side, those who played well in the Under-19 World Cup and those that excelled in the domestic league.”

Logan Cup’s leading wicket-takers, Manicaland’s Donald Tiripano with 34 wickets and Matabeleland Tuskers’ John Nyumbu (also 34) have also been drafted in the side together with Midwest Rhinos seamer Michael Chinouya.

However, there was no place for former national team seamer Tawanda Mupariwa, who also had an impressive Logan Cup season with 32 wickets and a better economy rate of 2.64, bettered only by Chinouya on 2.61 but with 24 wickets.

35-year-old batsman Mark Vermeulen has also been recalled via the A side.

Squad

Four-day: Regis Chakabva, Brian Chari, Mike Chinouya, Luke Jongwe, Roy Kaia, Timycen Maruma, Shingi Masakadza, Tino Mawoyo, Bright Mugochi, Tino Mutombodzi, Richmond Mutumbami, John Nyumbu, Donald Tiripano, Mark Vermeulen, Malcolm Waller.

For the One-dayers: Sikandar Raza Butt for Mark Vermeulen, Joylord Gumbie for Roy Kaia, Tafadzwa Kamungozi for John Nyumbu, Neville Madziva for Mike Chinouya, Forster Mutizwa for Malcolm Waller.

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