NATIONAL cricket captain Brendan Taylor passed a fitness test yesterday and immediately flew out to join the rest of the squad in the West Indies.
REPORTER KEVIN MAPASURE
Taylor had remained behind after suffering from an illness of which test results cleared him to travel. He had a fitness test at Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC). It is a pre-requisite for all players for inclusion in the touring squad.
Once he cleared that hurdle he put himself firmly in contention for the second one-day-international (ODI) which will be played at St Georges on Sunday.
The team will play its warm-up match against University of West Indies Vice-Chancellor’s XI today ahead of the first ODI on Friday in which Taylor is unlikely to be included.
Taylor failed two previous fitness tests, but has bounced back to regain shape having shown some good form in Bangladesh where he captained the Chittagong Kings who beat Elton Chigumbura’s Sylhet Royals on Monday in the semi-finals of the Bangladesh Premier League.
ZC general manager media and public affairs, Shingai Rhuhwaya, yesterday confirmed Taylor’s departure.
“Taylor left this afternoon to join the rest of the squad in the West Indies,” Rhuhwaya said. “He had his fitness test in the morning (yesterday) which he passed after medical results relating to his illness had cleared him to travel.”
Alan Butcher and the selector on tour will pick their team for today’s match from a 14-member squad that includes stand-in captain Hamilton Masakadza, fellow opening batsman Vusi Sibanda as well as rookies, fast bowler Tendai Chatara and spinner Tino Mutombodzi.
After the three ODIs, the two teams will also clash in two T20s before the two Test matches which will be played in the Barbados and Dominica.
Meanwhile, the ZC board will hold a meeting today where the main item on their agenda will be the selection of the new national team coach from a three-man shortlist, which includes Steve Mangongo, Andrew Waller and Grant Flower.
Flower is the current batting coach, while Mangongo is assistant to the outgoing Butcher.
After today’s meeting, an announcement is likely to be made tomorrow after the new coach has been notified of his appointment.
Squad: Brendan Taylor (c/wk), Regis Chakabva (wk), Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Tino Mawoyo, Keegan Meth, Chris Mpofu, Natsai M’shangwe, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Vusi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Malcolm Waller