Houghton welcomes back stars for Netherlands ODIs

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Dave Houghton

Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton is excited to have a full-strength squad at his disposal for the three-match one-day international (ODI) series against the Netherlands which gets underway at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.

The Chevrons will welcome back the duo of Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl after their franchise commitments while the trio of Sean Williams, Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani will mark their return from their injuries.

The quintet all missed the two-Test series against West Indies in Bulawayo last month, and Zimbabwe lost that 1-0, drawing the rain-affected first Test and going down by an innings and four runs in the second.

Raza has been busy with Lahore Qalandars at the PSL and is expected to join the Chevrons squad after Saturday’s final in Lahore while Burl was away playing for Sylhet Strikers in the BPL.

Sikandar Raza

Zimbabwe has also recently missed the services of Muzarabani, who had been out since last November with a recurrence of an old quad muscle injury, while Williams and Chatara both suffered injuries during the white-ball series against Ireland in January.

Williams fractured a finger and Chatara picked up a thigh-muscle injury.

After missing the services of most of his key players during the Ireland series, Houghton is excited by the prospect of having a full-strength squad for the series against Netherlands.

“It’s great to have the whole team back and everyone fighting fit,” Houghton said.

“It’s naturally our intention to win the series – however, in doing so, it is also an opportunity to try out different combinations to achieve that goal, with an eye on the upcoming World Cup qualifier tournament,” he added.

Zimbabwe will take on the Dutch with an eye on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 which will be hosted in Zimbabwe from June 18 to July 9 with two tickets on offer for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India later in the year.

Zimbabwe and Netherlands are both out of the race for direct qualification – the top-eight sides, including hosts India, get in automatically – they would want to get their best game going in the lead-up to the qualifiers.

Zimbabwe squad for ODIs vs Netherlands: Craig Ervine (capt), Gary Ballance, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Brad Evans, Innocent Kaia, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani (wk), Wellington Masakadza, Brandon Mavuta, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams

Netherlands Squad: Scott Edwards (c, wk), Max O’Dowd, Vikram Singh, Colin Ackermann, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Roelof van der Merwe, Musa Nadeem Ahmad, Tom Cooper, Shariz Ahmad, Brandon Glover, Vivian Kingma, Fred Klaassen, Ryan Klein, Paul van Meekeren.

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