Sikandar Raza has been named Zimbabwe’s new Twenty20 International captain as Zimbabwe Cricket seeks a change of fortunes in the game’s shortest format following the team’s disappointing 3-2 series loss against Namibia last week.
Raza’s appointment, which comes ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup qualifiers later this month is one of the changes announced by the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) board following its meeting held in Victoria Falls on Saturday.
The 37-year-old all-rounder takes over from Craig Ervine, who will now lead Zimbabwe in Test and one-day international cricket.
In a statement, ZC revealed that they have kept faith in head coach Dave Houghton despite his team’s failure to lead the Chevrons to the ongoing ICC World Cup in India and the subsequent series defeat in Namibia.
“At the meeting, the Board expressed its deep concern and disappointment over the Zimbabwe Senior Men’s National Team’s performance during the recent T20 international series in Namibia which the hosts won by three matches to two,” ZC said in its statement.
Thus Houghton will be under pressure to help Zimbabwe qualify for the T20 World Cup during the continental qualifiers in Namibia, where the Chevrons will be overwhelming favourites to book their ticket.
The local cricket governing also made changes to the selection panel for the national men’s side with David Mutendera remaining as convener and joined by Houghton and former national team captain Elton Chigumbura.
“There are no changes to the women’s cricket set-up, although the Board will review the tenures of *Zimbabwe Senior Women’s National Team Head Coach Gary Brent and Captain Mary-Anne Musonda after the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Africa Qualifier set for Uganda in December,” ZC noted.
Former Zimbabwe first-class cricketer Blessing Ngondo, who also sits on the ZC board has been named the new chairman of the powerful ZC Cricket Committee.
Other members of the committee include ex-national team captain and current director of cricket Hamilton Masakadza, former selection convener Kenyon Ziehl, ex-umpire Russell Tiffin, former Lady Chevrons captain Julia Chibhabha, Houghton and Chigumbura.