Pakistan-born batsman Sikandar Raza moved closer to representing Zimbabwe after being included in the 22-member A squad for the upcoming limited overs tri-series against South Africa and Sri Lanka next month.
Raza, whose closest dance with the Zimbabwe cricket national team had been call-ups for training,s would relish making the debut for his adopted country in the tournament which runs from July 11 to 22.
The squad, announced by Zimbabwe Cricket convener of selectors Givemore Makoni at a Press conference in Harare yesterday also includes 30-year-old all-rounder Greg Lamb.
After impressing in their debut season on the domestic front, Glenn Querl, who claimed the highest number of wickets in the Logan Cup, as well as right-arm medium-fast bowler Tatenda Manatsa, have also been called up.
“When you pick a side you look at the players’ current form and statistics. Manatsa has taken a lot of wickets in the domestic league while Glenn was the highest wicket taker in the Logan Cup. Our selection is based purely on performance and these two can push into the national team,” said Makoni.
Gavin Ewing’s selection into the final team is, however, subject to him passing a fitness test.
“Gavin has been out for a long time now, so he will have to undergo a fitness test first. He is prone to putting in a lot of weight when he is resting or out of cricket, but we have seen that he is now putting in a lot of work,” Makoni said.
Zimbabwe A coach Steve Mangongo said Lamb’s age did not prevent him from pushing for a national team place.
“Greg is a quality player who has played for the national team before. He is injury-prone, but the physios have certified him fit to play. As for Mupariwa, he has been out for 18 months, but has been working with Heath (Streak) in Bulawayo.”
Leg spinners Tino Mawoyo, Natsai Mushangwe, Tafadzwa Kamungozi have also been included.
Tino Mawoyo (cpt), Craig Ervine, Chamu Chibhabha, Foster Mtizwa, Raza Butt, Richard Mutumbami, Odias Manje, Tendai Chatara, Njabulo Ncube, Glenn Querl, Richard Muzhange, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tatenda Manatsa, Shingirai Masakadza, John Nyumbu, Hillary Matanga, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Natsai Mushangwe, Tawanda Kamungozi, Gavin Ewing, Gregg Lamb, Regis Chakabva.