Zimbabwe’s Coventry out of World Twenty20

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CHARLES Coventry has pulled out of Zimbabwe’s preliminary squad for the ICC World Twenty20 competition to be held in Bangladesh in March.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
SPORTS REPORTER

The aggressive middle-order batsman had been named in the 30-man preliminary squad announced by Zimbabwe Cricket on Saturday.

However, in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Coventry, who returns to his base in Dubai today, said the current financial problems affecting the local game were behind his decision.

“Yes, I just read in the papers that I had been included in the squad, but unfortunately I won’t be available. Obviously I’m living and working in Dubai at the moment.” said Coventry, who played for the Wings XI in Dubai towards the end of last year.

“For me it’s about playing Twenty20 cricket and I’m not really thinking about international cricket at the moment. It’s not like I don’t want to play for Zimbabwe, it’s just that I think that things are still tough here in Zimbabwe with regards to earning money and player welfare throughout the season.”
Coventry, who last played for Zimbabwe during their tour of New Zealand in November 2011, however, refused to completely rule out a possible return to the national team in the future.

“I would never turn my back on Zimbabwe and I’m not writing off the possibility of representing my country again. It would be nice to play for Zimbabwe again in future, but not at this particular time,” Coventry said.

Coventry’s decision to withdraw from the Zimbabwe’s ICC World Twenty20 preliminary comes hardly as a surprise given the financial problems currently facing the local game.

The financial problems have already seen Zimbabwe losing several players such as Kyle Jarvis, Craig Ervine, Graeme Cremer, Stuart Matsikenyeri and Greg Lamb.

Last month, the country’s domestic cricket season was thrown into chaos after local players refused to play until they were paid outstanding dues owed to them by the game’s governing body, Zimbabwe Cricket.

In fact, uncertainty continues to surround the resumption of Zimbabwe domestic cricket season despite the announcement of the ICC World Twenty20 preliminary squad as players are yet to receive their dues.

The domestic league was expected to resume on January 18, but Zimbabwe Cricket’s media and communications manager Lovemore Banda said a decision would be reached this week.

Zimbabwe Squad
Sikandar Raza Butt, Tendai Chatara, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Michael Chinouya, Trevor Garwe, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Kevin Kasuza, Timycen Maruma, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Christopher Mpofu, Tawanda Mupariwa, Natsai M’shangwe, Forster Mutizwa, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Richmond Mutumbami, Taurai Muzarabani, Richard Muzhange, Tinashe Panyangara, Edward Rainsford, Vusumuzi Sibanda, Brendan Taylor (Captain), Prosper Utseya