By Sports Reporter
RISING fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani has been named in Zimbabwe’s squad for the limited-overs series in Pakistan as he looks to resume his international career, two years after ditching the Chevrons in favor of a move to England.
The 24-year-old fast bowler comes at an important tour for the Zimbabwe side which had been rocked by the injury to experienced frontline seamer Kyle Jarvis, who has been ruled out of the Pakistan tour due to a stress fracture injury.
The experience that he gained during his stint at English county side Northamptonshire is expected to be a major boast for Zimbabwe during what is expected to be a difficult tour of Pakistan.
While the return of Muzarabani is certainly the highlight of the squad announced yesterday, equally exciting is the inclusion of two uncapped players, Milton Shumba and Faraz Akram, who have been doing well on the domestic scene.
Zimbabwe have also included other young talents in the form of Wesley Madhevere and Richard Ngarava.
The touring squad is however quite experienced, with captain Chamu Chibhabha and fellow seasoned campaigners Brendan Taylor, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams and Elton Chigumbura forming the nucleus of the side.
Zimbabwe’s 20-man squad is set to go into a bio-secure bubble at a local hotel in Harare on Monday before leaving for Pakistan on October 19.
The players will first undergo tests for Covid-19 on Sunday and only those who return negative results will check into a secluded wing at a local hotel before leaving the country on 19 October.
A bio-secure bubble refers to an environment that is cut off from the outside world so as to greatly curtail the risk of the players and support staff contracting Covid-19.
Zimbabwe Cricket said the bubble, which will cover the team hotel, stadium, and bus, will also limit the disruption on training and practice should a positive coronavirus case be recorded.
“Accordingly, only the travelling players and members of the technical staff will be permitted access to the team hotel and practice ground. This also means all those in the bubble will not be permitted to have access to families, visitors, friends, and relatives for the duration of the isolation period,’’ said ZC.
Even those offering the necessary support services before the team leaves for Pakistan, such as net bowlers, match officials, ground staff, and caterers will also be in the bubble.
“Apart from being expected to strictly adhere to all COVID-19 protocols such as sanitisation and social distancing, all individuals within the bubble will be monitored daily through temperature and symptom checks.”
Prior to departure for Pakistan, the touring party will again undergo tests for the virus in line with international travel requirements.
The ODI series in Pakistan, which will be part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, is pencilled in for 30 October and 1 and 3 November.
The T20I matches are scheduled for 7, 8, and 10 November.
Zimbabwe Squad: Chamu Chibhabha (captain), Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams