Mawoyo ends hiatus

HARARE - Top order batsman Tino Mawoyo ends his cricket hiatus when he turns out for Zimbabwe A for the two-match four day series against South Africa A scheduled for Harare and Bulawayo.

The first match gets underway at Harare Sports Club on Saturday while the second and final encounter is slated for Bulawayo beginning July 15.

On Tuesday, national selectors named Mawoyo in the 15-man squad to face South Africa A.

The 30-year-old batsman and occasional wicketkeeper last featured for the senior men national team in August 2014 during a One Day International Triangular series against Australia which the hosts won by three runs at Harare Sports Club.

The series also involved South Africa.

His last involvement in Test cricket was three years ago when Zimbabwe played against Pakistan at home in September and were 24-run victors over the Asians in the second match.

He has been side-lined through chronic groin injury prompting him to take up occasional commentary jobs during Zimbabwe home games.

Zimbabwe A coach Douglas Hondo has backed the former Zimbabwe Test opener to reclaim his lost glory and claim a place in the team for end of month’s home Test series against New Zealand in Bulawayo.

“He will be opening the bat for the squad, he’s been doing some fitness work with the trainer and seems to be almost back to his usual best. His technic is excellent and hasn’t lost touch with his fancy footwork and terrific stroke play,” Hondo told the Daily News yesterday.

“It’s true he hasn’t played in a long time because of the nagging groin injury but Zimbabwe have not also played any Test cricket in a long while hence he equally deserves an opportunity to be assessed just like any other guys in the team.”

Also making a return into the developmental side are seamers Shingi Masakadza and Brian Vitori whose bowling action has since been cleared by the ICC as well as Mashonaland Eagles pacer Trevor Garwe who for long has been a fringe player.

The team also comprises emerging talent such as wicketkeeper batsman Joylord Gumbie and seamer Gerald Aliseni.

“You always need that good balance between experienced players and the youth and from the squad we have, it looks like we have that even balance with the high prospects that the players will be able to jell without much difficulty,” Hondo added.

“I would be expecting that a few guys will be able to put their heads up and be selected for the New Zealand Test series.”

Zimbabwe A Squad

Tinotenda Mutombodzi (captain), Gerald Aliseni, Regis Chakabva, Brian Chari, Trevor Garwe, Joylord Gumbie, Timycen Maruma, Shingirirai Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Tarisai Musakanda, Natsai M’shangwe, Richard Muzhange, Victor Nyauchi, John Nyumbu.

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