Ex-Leicestershire opener Welch commits to Zimbabwe, included in squad for Namibia series

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Nick Welch was named the Batter of the Tournmentt at the conclusion of the NPL T20 Blast last week, after topping the batting chart with 479 runs. CREDIT Zimbabwe Cricket

Inform opening batsman Nick Welch is set to make his Zimbabwe debut during next week’s Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Namibia in Windhoek after ending his contract with English county side Leicestershire.

The 25-year-old opening batter represented Zimbabwe at youth level before opting to play county cricket in England under a Kolpak contract which meant he could not play international cricket for Zimbabwe.

After recently leaving Leicestershire, Welch, who has regularly featured in Zimbabwe’s first-class and club cricket competitions, has been convinced to feature for the Chevrons.

He is part of a strong squad of 16 players for the five-match T20 international series in Namibia.

Welch, who was named the Batter of the Tournament in the recently concluded NPL T20 Blast,  is one of two uncapped players in the squad along with wicketkeeper-batter Nyasha Mavavo.

Forgotten opening batter Tinashe Kamunhukamwe as well as pace bowlers Carl Mumba and squad Faraz Akram have earned recalls on the back of strong performances in domestic competitions.

Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine will lead the side in Namibia

Zimbabwe has retained the core of their squad which has done well in recent months despite their failure to qualify for the ongoing ICC World Cup in India.

Skipper Craig Ervine will continue as captain of the side which also includes the experienced trio of Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza and Tendai Chatara.

Seamer Richard Ngarava will spearhead Zimbabwe’s bowling attack in the absence of Blessing Muzarabani, who is still recuperating from a right-hand fracture sustained during a National Premier League match last month.

Zimbabwe will be aiming for a solid display against the Namibians during the series which gets underway next Tuesday in Windhoek before the two sides face off in four other matches next Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and October 30.

The series is of huge significance for both teams, who are bracing for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier 2023 that will be held in Namibia from November 20 to December 1.

Zimbabwe and Namibia will be the favourites to clinch the two tickets for the T20 World Cup in the qualifying which will also feature the likes of Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 will be co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States of America.

ZIMBABWE SQUAD

Craig Ervine (captain), Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Nyasha Mayavo, Carl Mumba, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Sikandar, Nick Welch, Sean Williams

NAMIBIA VERSUS ZIMBABWE T20I SERIES SCHEDULE:

DATE

MATCH

VENUE

START

Tuesday, 24 October 2023

1st T20I

Windhoek

1400

Wednesday, 25 October 2023

2nd T20I

Windhoek

1400

Friday, 27 October 2023

3rd T20I

Windhoek

1400

Sunday, 29 October 2023

4th T20I

Windhoek

1100

Monday, 30 October 2023

5th T20I

Windhoek

1400

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