Zimbabwe Cricket have named a full-strength squad for the five-match Twenty20 International series against Namibia which gets underway at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Tuesday.
The hosts will have all their heavy hitters available as they look to build some momentum ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2022.
The strong 18-man squad is led by limited-overs captain Craig Ervine, who will provide the much-needed experience alongside fellow seasoned campaigners Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva and Tendai Chatara.
The selectors have also rewarded players who did well during the Zimbabwe A’s tour of Nepal with Tony Munyonga, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Luke Jongwe, Brandon Mavuta, Bradley Evans, Innocent Kaia and Victor Nyauchi all being drafted into the quad to face Namibia.
The only notable absentees from the squad are fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani, who is away at the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) and off-spinner Wellington Masakadza, who misses out due to injury.
Zimbabwe Cricket’s Convener of Selectors David Mutendera believes they have come up with a balanced squad comprising of experienced players and up and coming talent.
“We had to get all the best available players for this series, from the experienced Raza to the upcoming Tony Munyonga,” Mutendera said.
“The coach asked for a squad of 18 and we backed him as this will not only allow for the rotation of players but will also give us an opportunity to have a look in at those players who have been on the sidelines ahead of the qualifiers. We need to hit the ground running as we cannot afford missing out on the T20 World Cup, with the Namibia series presenting us with a great opportunity to fine-tune our team for the qualifiers,” Mutendera said.
The home side will be seeking to get off to a winning start in the series opener on Tuesday ahead of the remaining matches on Thursday, Saturday, May 22 and May 24 at the same venue.
The series forms part of Zimbabwe’s preparations for the eight-team ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B to be played in Harare in July, where the hosts will be joined by Hong Kong, Jersey, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Uganda and the United States
The two finalists from the qualifiers will qualify for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 to be staged in Australia.
Craig Ervine (captain), Ryan Burl, Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Tanaka Chivanga, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Ernest Masuku, Brandon Mavuta, Tony Munyonga, Richmond Mutumbami, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano