By Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe national cricket team suffered an injury blow ahead of the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against minnows United Arab Emirates after captain Hamilton Masakadza and experienced batsman Brendan Taylor were ruled out due to injury.
The two experienced players are conspicuous by their absence from the 16-man squad that will represent Zimbabwe in the first two ODIs.
Masakadza is nursing a left thumb injury which he picked in a domestic match in February, while Taylor is recovering from a right calf muscle tear that he sustained in a Pakistan Super League game in Dubai during the same month.
The duo had been included in the 27-man training squad that has been in camp for the past fortnight, but they have not recovered in time to play a part at least in the first two matches of the series against the UAE.
With Masakadza sidelined, vice captain Peter Moor will lead the side that will be banking on the in-form Craig Ervine, alongside seasoned campaigners Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Tendai Chatara, Kyle Jarvis and Elton Chigumbura.
The uncapped duo of Ainsley Ndlovu and Tony Munyonga are in line to make their international bow after they made the cut, while Timycen Maruma and Regis Chakabva are back in the side following their lengthy absence from ODI cricket.
The players who did not make it into this squad will have another chance to be picked when the selectors name the side for the last two matches of the series.
The ODIs against the UAE are scheduled for 10, 12, 14 and 16 April, all at Harare Sports Club.
Proceeds from ticket sales for the third match on Sunday 14 April, will go towards Cyclone Idai disaster relief efforts.
Before the series gets underway, the UAE will first face the Chairman’s XI side in a 50-over warm-up match at Old Hararians Sports Club this Monday.
Brian Chari will captain the Chairman’s XI team, which includes three Under-19 players – Wesley Madhevere, Dion Myers and Luke Oldknow.
Zimbabwe Squad for ODI Series versus UAE:
Peter Moor (captain), Solomon Mire, Brian Chari, Regis Chakabva, Sean Williams, Timycen Maruma, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Craig Ervine, Brandon Mavuta, Ainsley Ndlovu, Tony Munyonga, Elton Chigumbura