Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) yesterday announced their 15-man squad for next month’s ICC World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The team includes returning international all-rounder Sean Ervine.
The chairman of selectors Alistair Campbell who was flanked by head coach Allan Butcher and team manager Lovemore Banda made five changes to the side that travelled to Bangladesh.
Former Hampshire allrounder Ervine, who last played for Zimbabwe in 2004, is set for a return to international cricket after agreeing terms with ZC. He recently said in an interview that he wanted to revive his international career.
Batting all-rounders Gregory Lamb who is being tipped to open the batting and Sean Williams also made the side after missing the recent tour of Bangladesh due to injury.
The duo will also add some options to the spin bowling attack which also has Prosper Utseya, Raymond Price and Graeme Cremer.
Power-hitting batsman Charles Coventry who holds the record for Zimbabwe’s highest individual score in ODIs, will make a return to the team after falling out of favour with the selectors.
MidWest Rhinos’ seam bowler Edward Rainsford replaced Keegan Meth who is expected to beef up the seam bowling attack which already has Christopher Mpofu and Shingirai Masakadza.
As expected skipper Elton Chigumbura made the side despite a recent dip in form and would certainly have struggled to make the side if he was not the captain.
One peculiar aspect about the team was the absence of a second genuine opening batsman to support Brendan Taylor after Hamilton Masakadza failed to make the preliminary squad.
Possible replacements Chamunorwa Chibhabha and Tinotenda Mawoyo were also overlooked with the former not even making the non-travelling reserves.
Responding to questions at the press conference Campbell defended the decision to wield the axe on yet another opening batsman in a team where Taylor does not have a genuine opening partner.
Regis Chakabva, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine, Sean Ervine, Gregory Lamb, Shingirai Masakadza, Christopher Mpofu, Raymond Price, Edward Rainsford, Tatenda Taibu, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams
Non-Travelling Reserves: Terrence Duffin, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Njabulo Ncube, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusimuzi Sibanda.