NATIONAL cricket team selectors have turned to Shingi Masakadza to spearhead Zimbabwe’s pace bowling attack after Kyle Jarvis pulled out of the squad preparing for the tour by Pakistan starting on Friday.
REPORT BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Jarvis, who had looked set to take the new ball for Zimbabwe in both the limited overs matches and the Tests, withdrew from the side after deciding to take up a lucrative offer from Lancashire County Cricket Club in England.
Zimbabwe Cricket selection convener Givemore Makoni told NewsDay Sport Jarvis’ retirement was a huge blow to the team, but was confident that they had enough cover in the pace bowling department.
“Obviously it’s always disappointing to lose a player of Kyle Jarvis’ quality but, look; I think we have to move forward. Our bowling department is very strong and there’s a lot of competition for places in that department which is why even Jarvis didn’t play all the matches.
“We have brought in Shingi Masakadza as his replacement and there are also other seam bowlers like Tendai Chatara, Mike Chinouya and Brian Vitori who are ready to play and hopefully they will take up the challenge and do well for the team,” said Makoni.
Masakadza was one of the leading bowlers during the home series against Bangladesh, taking 10 wickets in the two-match Test series which ended 1-1 and four wickets in the first ODI.
He was, however, surprisingly omitted from the squad which played India early this month, but makes a return to the squad to face Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Jarvis confirmed in a statement that he had retired from international cricket and would not return to play cricket in Zimbabwe.
Jarvis issued a statement to ESPNcricinfo which said: “I have held off a few opportunities over the last few months, but my decision was made about a week ago when the pay disputes arose and I felt my time to leave had come.
“I have retired from international cricket to pursue a county and global T20 career. We have had a few teams interested, but I and my agents have agreed on a three-year deal at a top English county.
“I really hope the fans and public can understand my reasons for leaving, as job security is the main factor. I informed my team-mates yesterday that I would be leaving and they were supportive and fully understood why I was doing this. I then sat with the managing director and explained my position and we both left on good terms.
“Zimbabwe will always be my home, and I would just like to thank everyone for their continued support over the past few years. I wish my team-mates and coaching staff the best of luck for the forthcoming Pakistan series.”
The 24-year-old right-arm fast bowler took 30 wickets in eight Tests at an average of 31.73 and 27 wickets in 24 ODIs.
He also played nine T20Is in which he picked up 10 wickets.
He becomes the second established member of the Zimbabwe Cricket team to turn his back on Zimbabwe.
In April middle order batsman Craig Ervine chose a contract with Lisburn Cricket Club in Northern Ireland over an offer from Zimbabwe Cricket.
Zimbabwe practice squad:
Brendan Taylor (capt & wk), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Michael Chinouya, Vusi Sibanda, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Kyle Jarvis, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, Tino Mawoyo, Natsai M’shangwe, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Tinashe Panyangara, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams