Zimbabwe star Raza makes international return for Ireland ODI series

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Sikandar Raza

Zimbabwe’s T20 World Cup star Sikandar Raza will return to international cricket for the upcoming One Day International (ODI) series against Ireland which gets underway at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.

The all-rounder missed his side’s T20 series win over Ireland after being allowed to in order to fulfill some of his franchise commitments but is back in the set-up for the ODI series.

The 36-year-old became the first Zimbabwean to win the ICC Men’s Player of the Month award for his performances last August, and carried that fine form into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, where his displays earned him a spot in the ICC Team of the Tournament.

He is also one of four nominees – along with Babar Azam, Ben Stokes and Tim Southee – for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year award.

Raza’s inclusion is a much-need boost after the news that all-rounder Sean Williams will miss the series with a broken finger.

Former skipper Chamunorwa Chibhabha, leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta and fit-again ex-England international Gary Ballance are also included in the Zimbabwe squad.

Ballance was capped 16 times in ODI cricket by England between 2013 and 2015, but has not played since and is now eligible to represent the country of his birth.

The three-match series begins at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday, with the following fixtures scheduled for Saturday and Monday.

The series comes hot on the heels of a superb T20I series that saw Zimbabwe win a thrilling decider last Sunday to win 2-1.

Zimbabwe Squad: Ervine Craig (captain), Ballance Gary, Burl Ryan, Chatara Tendai, Chibhabha Chamunorwa, Evans Bradley, Kaia Innocent, Madande Clive, Madhevere Wessly, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Masakadza Wellington, Mavuta Brandon, Ngarava Richard, Nyauchi Victor, Raza Sikandar

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