World Cup squad to be named

Eddie Chikamhi Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe Cricket convener of selectors Kenyon Ziehl says they are looking to settle for the best when they announce the 15-member squad to represent the nation at next month’s ICC World Twenty20 tournament in India. Ziehl said the selection criteria encompassed all recent performances by the players and was not limited to the domestic tournament that ends in Bulawayo today.

Zimbabwe missed yesterday’s deadline for the submission of their final squad after they had asked for a waiver from the ICC as they had wanted to give the fringe players a chance to fight for national team places in the week-long domestic T20 competition.

The ICC World T20 will be played in India next month and Ziehl said they would want the best of the available talent when they make the announcement this evening.

“It’s unfortunate we have never had our full strength squad at these tournaments because of factors beyond anyone’s control but this time it looks like we have almost all our players up for selection. So we are hoping to have the best team selected,” said Ziehl.

Ziehl said ZC were impressed by some individual performances by such players as Chevrons’ skipper Hamilton Masakadza who appears to have hit top form at the right time after leading the defending champions Mountaineers into today’s final.

Masakadza also had a brilliant outing in the national team’s last tour of Bangladesh where he set a new record for the most runs in a T20 bilateral series.

Batsmen such as Malcom Waller, Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Vusi Sibanda and Masakadza who had an unforgettable week when he hit the second highest T20 score (162*), after West Indies’ great Chris Gayle, have all raised their hands up ahead of the selection.

Leg spinner Graeme Cremer, Wellington Masakadza, Donald Tiripano, Brian Vitori, John Nyumbu and Richard Muzhange have also done well with the ball.

There have also been some noticeable performances from Mashonaland Eagles’ Trevor Garwe and Tapiwa Mufudza who helped Mountaineers to a comfortable win over Tuskers yesterday with the tournament’s first five-wicket haul.

Former captain Elton Chigumbura was not involved in the domestic game as he is currently playing in the Pakistan Super League where he is struggling to rediscover his form.

“We have been having some interesting cricket here in Bulawayo and some good results as well. There were outstanding individual performances but let’s remember that this is just a one-off tournament.

“So on local cricket, yes we have been keeping an eye on the performances but international cricket always play a big part when selecting a national team. These guys knew each other very well, how they bat and how they bowl.

“But it’s totally different with international cricket. I’m glad we had some guys who have been involved in international cricket of late and also those who were in the Zimbabwe A squad had some exposure at the top level,” said Ziehl.

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