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Sibanda bounces back


Opening batsman Vusi Sibanda has returned to the Zimbabwe national cricket team fold after he was included in a 24-man training squad selected for South’s Africa tour to Zimbabwe in June.

The squad will go into camp on May 2 in Harare in preparation for the five-match T20 series which both nations are using to prepare for that format’s World Cup on this September. Also returning to the squad is Craig Ervine and Charles Coventry who both missed Zimbabwe’s tour to New Zealand due to injury and lack of form respectively. Middle order batsman Coventry sees himself in and out of the team more than any other player and this time makes another attempt to cement a place in the team.

The Matabeleland Tuskers batter is one of the cleanest hitters of the ball locally and his experience would be useful for Zimbabwe in this format of the game.

Also making a return is fast bowler Chris Mpofu who was sidelined due to injury towards the end of last year for him to miss part of the domestic season as well as the New Zealand tour where he was sorely missed.

Batsman Sibanda, who was controversially left out of the squad that toured New Zealand, returns to take his place in the team having dumped his Australian club to play for MidWest Rhinos, a condition he had to meet to be considered for the national team. Convenor of selectors Givemore Makoni said that they had also included young stars that have excelled on the domestic scene as a reward for that success.

“We have younger players like Tendai Chatara, Kelvin Kasuza and Richard Muzhange in the squad, they have been doing well on the domestic front,” said Makoni. “They will be closely monitored during the training camp and if they do well they can even make it into the final squad.”

The team has been on a break since their last tour to New Zealand in January where they lost all matches in all formats of the game. They will be looking to pick themselves up against South Africa where they will use the series to prepare for the T20 World Cup in September. Many of the players have tied down contracts with English clubs and those that will be called up to the squad will have to return for the training camp. Notable absentees from the squad are Gregg Lamb and Regis Chakabva who both have been excluded. The squad will be led by captain Brendan Taylor.

Brendan Taylor, Tatenda Taibu, Elton Chigumbura, Malcolm Waller, Charles Coventry, Forster Mutizwa, Graeme Cremer, Raymond Price, Tendai Chatara, Prosper Utseya, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu, Brian Vitori, Keegan Meth, Njabulo Ncube, Kelvin Kasuza, Natsai Mushangwe, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingi Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Richard Muzhange, Vusi Sibanda, Craig Ervine

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