Increase Zim A games: Makunura

HARARE - Zimbabwe A coach Shepherd Makunura has called on Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to avail more game time for the country’s second-string side as a way of bridging the gap between national team players and those in the fringes.

Makunura made the remarks following the completion of Canada’s four-match limited overs tour here, won 3-1 by Zimbabwe A.

“The biggest challenge we have in the country is that we (Zim A) don’t get to play enough to remain competitive and be able to mount serious pressure on non-performing national team players,” Makunura said.

“When a player is dropped from the national team, he’s replaced by someone from franchise cricket. There’s a big gap between international cricket and our franchise league and for us to be able to bridge that gap we have to increase similar tours for the A side like the one we just had with Canada. If we can play more against the other Test nations’ A sides then we have the potential to improve and remain competitive.”

ZC, meanwhile, is believed to be organising two Zimbabwe A tours to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh later this year.

Turning to the Canada series, Makunura said he was hugely impressed by his team’s 3-1 win despite losing the final match of the series.

Canada flew back home on Tuesday after salvaging some pride following a three-wicket win over the Zimbabwe A in the final match.

The North Americans had their moments throughout the series at Harare Sports Club, and in the second match were unlucky to lose by one-wicket in a cliff-hanger of a game.

“Apart from the final 3-1 result, overall it was a good series because we also did expose quite a number of youngsters to high level cricket such as Ryan Burl, Cuthbert Musoko, Tapiwa Mufudza and to some extent PJ Moor,” Makunura said.

“The crowd was amazing, especially on Saturday, we never anticipated such a record crowd for a game without ODI status, and it really kept us going. They rallied behind the boys and it was befitting that we wrapped up the series 3-0 before them.”

Comments (1)

Thank you with for the win coach and the boys. We have talent and potential in all spots. Increasing game time can only be a short term thing. Lets increase our grass roots base and have a very big pool to select from. Lets cut this mentality that cricket is for the elite. Lets throw away the "race card" syndrome in the bin. Cricket is a very specialised and technical game the boys must spend more time in their nets.

X-MAN IV - 15 January 2015

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