Jarvis keeps ZC guessing

HARARE - Ex-Zimbabwe cricket speed merchant Kyle Jarvis has kept the door open for a possible return to international cricket.

The 28-year-old pace bowler is in the final year of his contract with England County Cricket side Lancashire having joined the side in September 2013 on a Kolpak deal after retiring from international cricket in August the same year.

He had played eight Tests, 24 One Day Internationals and nine Twenty20 games for Zimbabwe prior to his early retirement aged only 24 years.

Talking to BBC Radio Lancashire, Jarvis could neither confirm nor deny news doing the round linking him with a possible return to the Zimbabwe national team.

“It’s flattering being connected with international cricket again but I’m a contracted Lancashire player until 2018. I’m not looking past that,” Jarvis said.

The in-form Jarvis has now taken six-wicket hauls in consecutive Lancashire games, including the current Championship match against Warwickshire at Old Trafford — to take his haul to 148 first-class wickets in his 39 matches for the Red Rose since his debut in September 2013.

“I knew I had this to give in my first year,” he said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way. I learnt and I think I became a better bowler for it. These last couple of years have been brilliant.

“Unfortunately I’ve not played the amount of cricket I wanted this year due to a broken thumb and sitting out the T20s but that’s the way it goes.

“My first and main priority is that I want to win Division One. That’s what I’ve always set out to do here. Right now, that’s my focus.”

But back home Zimbabwe Cricket chairperson Tavengwa Mukuhlani who is spearheading the drive to get former players back to the country maintained that discussions are underway to have him back in the fold.

“Negotiations are still going on with regards to having Jarvis back to international cricket again and we will make an announcement once there’s something tangible,” Mukuhlani told the Daily News yesterday.

Last year, Mukuhlani expressed his desire to lure back home all the local stars plying their trade abroad including Jarvis, former captain Brendan Taylor and the Curran brothers Tom and Sam.

Tom Curran has, however, since made his international debut for England playing in the T20 series against South Africa at Taunton.

The coming on board of head coach Heath Streak, convener of selectors Tatenda Taibu and chief executive Faisal Hasnain is believed to be bait-enough to convince Jarvis for another dance with the national team.

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer, who returned back to the national team two years after Jarvis’ exit ending his sabbatical, admitted that the pace bowler was happy in England.

“I have not spoken to Kyle lately, as far as I know he is happy in the UK, but it makes sense to try and get as many of our top players back to join the side,” said Cremer.

Should Jarvis play for Zimbabwe again, he would lose his Kolpak status and could only return to Lancashire as an overseas player.

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