By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has announced a very experienced squad for the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against United Arab Emirates to be played at Harare Sports Club next month.
Zimbabwe, who last played an international match November last year when they visited Bangladesh, will host UAE for five ODIs, with the matches scheduled for April 10, 12, 14 and 16, all at Harare Sports Club.
Before the ODI series gets underway, UAE will first face Zimbabwe A in a 50-over warm-up match at Old Hararians Sports Club on April 8, two days after their arrival in the country.
In a bid to ensure that most of the senior players remain active, ZC has selected several experienced campaigners such as captain Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Tendai Chatara, Kyle Jarvis and Elton Chigumbura in the 27-man training squad ahead of the series.
The squad also includes the uncapped trio of Ainsley Ndlovu, Charles Kunje and Tony Munyonga, who have been rewarded for their impressive performances during the just-ended domestic season.
The selection panel has also rewarded the quintet of Roy Kaia, Timycen Maruma, Richmond Mutumbami, Natsai M’shangwe and Regis Chakabva with call-ups to the national side following their outstanding performances in franchise cricket.
The upcoming series against UAE is important for ZC, which has in recent months struggled to fill the gaps in its calendar since failing to qualify for the World Cup.
An important tour to India – originally scheduled for March in the Future Tours Programme – was postponed before Afghanistan recently pulled out of a tour scheduled for late April because the games would not be televised.
After the series against UAE, Zimbabwe will head to Europe to play the Netherlands in two ODIs penciled for June 19 and 21, and two Twenty20 international matches set for June 23 and 25.
From there, Zimbabwe will proceed to Ireland where they will play three ODI matches and three T20Is. The ODIs against Ireland are scheduled for July 1, 4 and 7, while the T20I matches are slated for July 10, 12 and 14.
While the exact dates are yet to be confirmed, the current ICC FTP suggests that Zimbabwe could host Afghanistan for a Test, five ODIs and three T20Is in August, and then West Indies for five ODIs and one Test in October.
Zimbabwe Squad for ODI Series versus UAE:
Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Brian Chari, Solomon Mire, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Sikandar Raza, Timycen Maruma, Regis Chakabva, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava, Chris Mpofu, Donald Tiripano, Brandon Mavuta, Ainsley Ndlovu, Richmond Mutumbami, Charles Kunje, Natsai M’shangwe, Ryan Burl, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Roy Kaia, Carl Mumba, Tony Munyonga