By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE national cricket team players were excited to make a return to the field after featuring in their first cricket match in six months during intra-squad practice match at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Local cricket players have been inactive for the past six months after coronavirus outbreak led to the suspension of all sporting activities around the world since March.
The Chevrons however started team training at Harare Sports Club last week after Zimbabwe Cricket received clearance from government for the proposed series tour of Pakistan next month.
After weeks of provincial group sessions, they started training together in Harare early last week and intensified their preparations for the upcoming tour to Pakistan by playing their first practice match.
The Twenty20 encounter saw some impressive performances with the bat by former captain Elton Chigumbura and current Test skipper Sean Williams after they both smashed half-centuries.
Seamer Donald Tiripano was the most successful with the ball in the match, claiming three wickets for 18 runs from the three overs he bowled, while young spinner Wesley Madhevere also put in a solid performance.
Zimbabwe limited-overs cricket team captain Chamu Chibhabha said the players were delighted to make a return to the cricket field after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“It was really good to get some match practice today. Obviously, the guys were a bit rusty, but we still have a couple more practice matches to go – so hopefully, the guys will be match-fit by the time we tour Pakistan. We had some really good performances today, so it’s looking good,” Chibhabha said after the match.
Williams, who celebrated his 34th birthday in style with a 36-ball 51 that contained three sixes and five boundaries was equally excited.
“Yes, it was a practice match but I didn’t take it like one. It felt amazing to be back on the park with the boys after so long. Walking onto the field today really made me appreciate the game we have played for so long and love it even more. I personally feel I will enjoy every moment from now on more and truly grateful to be part of the return of this great game of ours,” Williams said.
Zimbabwe will face Pakistan in three One-Day Internationals and the same number of Twenty20 Internationals.
The ODI matches, which will be part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, are scheduled for 30 October and 1 and 3 November while the dates for the T20I series are 7, 8, and 10 November. All the matches will be played behind closed doors.