Mugeri returns for Zim ladies

HARARE - Zimbabwe senior women cricket team captain Chipo Mugeri returns to the squad ahead of next month’s visit to South Africa for an invitational Quadrangular series across the Limpopo.

The team will participate in the four-team series that also involves India, Ireland and host South Africa on an invitational basis starting from May 4 to 17. After the quadrangular, the locals will return home for a local crash programme that will see four teams playing against each every month while the other national teams that have qualified for the ICC Women World Cup will proceed with preparations for the showpiece set for England between June and July.

Inspirational skipper Mugeri missed Zimbabwe’s World Cup Qualifiers campaign in Colombo, Sri Lanka following the birth of her baby girl and in her absence, Sharne Mayers took over the reins.

With a lot at stake in Sri Lanka including qualifying for the World Cup, earning a place for the second edition of the ICC Women’s Championship and an ODI status for the fifth and sixth placed side, the locals could not stand the heat and returned home empty-handed.

Mugeri’s first port of call however, will be participating in today’s Maximum Age Group Twenty20 two-day tournament which gets underway at Old Hararians this morning that also coincides with the resumption of the women national team camp for South Africa.

This is an all-boys tourney for the Under 16s and senior women national team assistant coach Leonard Nhamburo believes the girls will hold their own against the boys.

“With game momentum gained from the just-ended T20 for the ladies, the players are very much prepared and we are just hoping that they keep the consistence in all the three departments. The camp starts tomorrow (today) with 22 players coming in who will be cut down to 14 after a fitness test on April 21,” Nhamburo told the Daily News yesterday.

Asked whether the ladies would not be intimidated by playing against boys, Nhamburo said:“No not at all because if you look at the South Africa and India attack they have aggressive batters and quick bowlers (so) at least this makes them stronger.”

Walter Musakwa one of the organisers of the Edgars and Pure Drop-sponsored tournament said they felt compelled to provide the school-going children with game time after most games on the school calendar where washed out by rains.

“We felt the need to organise the tournament because we want to create more game time for the boys especially with this school cricket term where most of the games where called off because of rain...we are also trying to develop as many players as possible through competitive games,” Musakwa said.

Teams expected to participate include local academies Maximum Cricket, Tigers and Rockview Cricket Academy.

Zimbabwe Women training squad of 22- Chipo Mugeri, Sharne Mayers, Modester Mupachikwa, Pellagia Mujaji, Josephine Nkomo, Loreen Tshuma, Nonthlathla Nyathi, Nomatter Mutasa, Esther Mbofana, Nomvelo Sibanda, Anesu Mushangwe, Susan Kudzibatira, Chiedza Dhururu, Nyasha Gwanzura, Francisca Chipare, Rumbidzai Nhire, Audrey Mazvishaya, Loreen Phiri, Leanne Chibhunhe, Sharna Olivier, Precious Marange.

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