Zim recalls 'reformed' Vermeulen

HARARE - Zimbabwe have recalled batsman Mark Vermuelen for the upcoming tour by South Africa and Australia, six years after the fiery 35-year-old was cleared of two arson attacks by a local court in 2008.

Vermeulen had admitted setting fire on the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy pavilion at Highlands Country Club and part of the ZC headquarters at Harare Sports Club in 2006 but was later cleared on psychiatric grounds.

He was said to be suffering from partial complex epilepsy and impulsive behaviour disorder after he was hit and injured by a cricket ball during a match in Australia.

Vermeulen however made a brief comeback when he played in ODIs against South Africa in 2009.

He has in recent seasons worked on his game after his apology was accepted by the Zimbabwe Cricket board, and was allowed to continue playing cricket.

Only last week, he hit a century for Zimbabwe A in an unofficial Test against touring Afghanistan.

In 2006, Harare-born Vermeulen was also banned from English first-class and league cricket for 10 years following an on-pitch bust up in the Central Lancashire League.

The incident occurred when Vermeulen, playing as a professional for Werneth against Ashton, confronted opposition fans on Sunday. He was restrained by club officials before his captain ordered him off the field and he was led from the ground. Darren Shadford, the Werneth captain, then conceded the match.

Right-hander Vermeulen was named in a 26-man training squad which will face South Africa in a one-off Test match beginning on Saturday before taking on the Proteas in three one-day internationals.

Australia will then arrive later in the month for an ODI tri-series with the host and South Africa.

The Zimbabwe squad include six players who have not been capped at any of the three formats of the game. These are Taurai Muzarabani, Steven Chimhamhiwa, Luke Jongwe, Cuthbert Musoko, Neville Madziva and John Nyumbu.

Zimbabwe will be under newly-appointed coach Stephen Mangongo while Brendan Taylor has relinguished captaincy of the limited overs side to all-rounder Elton Chigumbura.

Wicketkeeper Taylor retains captaincy of the Test side.

Squad: Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Steven Chimhamhiwa, Michael Chinouya, Luke Jongwe, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Neville Madziva, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Natsai M’shangwe, Cuthbert Musoko, Richmond Mutumbami, Taurai Muzarabani, John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Donald Tiripano, Prosper Utseya, Mark Vermeulen, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams.

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