Williams snubs Afghan offer

HARARE - Zimbabwe cricket all-rounder Sean Williams will no longer be taking part in the Shpageeza Cricket League in Afghanistan after opting to stay back home and work on his fitness.

The 30-year-old left-hander had been drafted to play for Speenghar Tigers in the T20 competition in the war-torn Asian country but had to cancel his agreement on the 11th hour.

Eight other local players including batsman Hamilton Masakadza, Sikandar Raza, Solomon Mire, Vusi Sibanda, Elton Chigumbura, Richmond Mutumbami; rookies Richard Ngarava and Ryan Burl will be travelling to Afghanistan for the competition which run from 11-22 September.

“I just decided against travelling out to Afghanistan. I wanted to pass my fitness test and the Afghan competition comes at a time I feel I’m only half through my best fitness levels,” Williams told the Daily News yesterday.

“I’m glad that I passed my mock beep test last week under national team fitness trainer Sean Bell and Matabeleland Tuskers head coach Wayne James. This was only a mock test and now looking forward to the actual test that is set for September 11.”

Williams is now concentrating on the forthcoming domestic cricket season which gets underway later this month.

“We started training as Tuskers last week and been training with the rest of the guys every day,” Williams said.

“We haven’t actually set down at the moment to discuss about this season’s targets but I’m pretty sure that’s the exercise that will be coming soon.

The Tuskers all-rounder is also looking forward to forthcoming home series against the rejuvenated West Indies, who will arrive in Zimbabwe later this month.

“To be honest, I’m also looking forward to that series (West Indies) after returning home from Sri Lanka, and I’m sure all the guys can’t wait too,” Williams said.

“The last time we were together as a team was on day five of the Test match against Sri Lanka which is pretty much a long time.

“It’s different format all together for the guys going to Afghanistan but all the same they will be gaining some vital game time.”

Zimbabwe Cricket head of cricket affairs Givemore Makoni confirmed that they have issued No Objection Certificates (NOC) to the players travelling to Afghanistan.

“These are individual arrangements between the player and the clubs. These players are not going there as Zimbabwe but as individuals who have been selected by their respective clubs which is why they have been issued with these NOCs,”  Makoni said.

Sports and Recreation Commission acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere said the players have also been given a green light to travel to Afghanistan.

“These are contracts issues where a player is moving from one club to another for instance in football Ocean Mushure moving from his current club Dynamos to the South African club that he is being linked with in recent times,” Muchechetere said.

“It is a personal arrangement and our statutes as SRC covers the tours by teams and not individuals going out in their individual capacity.”

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Live stream of all matches on the tournament website in case any one wants to catch the games

AC - 9 September 2017

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