Zimbabwe national cricket team’s preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 competition suffered a huge blow yesterday after the trio of vice-captain Graeme Cremer, allrounder Luke Jongwe and seamer Neville Madziva were ruled out through injuries.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Cremer and Madziva suffered injuries during the second practice match against the West Indies on Saturday, while Jongwe has been ruled out after suffering a head injury in the first practice match against the Sharjah Cricket Club on Tuesday last week.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) confirmed that the trio was expected back in the country with Tawanda Mupariwa, Chamu Chibhabha and Donald Tiripano being the replacements.
Chibhabha and Tiripano were already part of the training camp in the United Arab Emirates, while Mupariwa, who last featured for Zimbabwe against Pakistan in May last year, is expected to join the squad in India.
“Three of the 17 players, who were in the camp in Sharjah, will be returning home on Tuesday because of injury,” ZC public relations and media spokesperson Darlington Majonga said in a statement yesterday.
“Leg-spinner Graeme Cremer suffered a fractured left forearm when he was hit by the ball while he was batting in the first practice match against the West Indies on Saturday.
“In the same match, pace bowler Neville Madziva was also hit by the ball on the right thumb while trying to make a return catch.
“The third player, Luke Jongwe, suffered a head injury when he missed the ball while attempting a return catch and it hit him above the right eye, in the first practice match against the Sharjah Cricket Club last Tuesday. He has been recovering well and has not presented with any neurological symptoms so far.
“According to the neurosurgeon, Jongwe will have to rest for three to four weeks away from any cricket activity to give the injury time to heal. As Zimbabwe had a 17-man camp and only 15 can be submitted for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament, only one player — Tawanda Mupariwa — has been called to join the squad,” he said.
Jongwe, who was set to make his bow for Zimbabwe in a major tournament, took to Twitter to express his disappointment after the injury.
“It’s so sad to be leaving the team with @gagzmdz (Neville Madziva) and @GraemeCremer (Graeme Cremer). Our journey end(s) here . . . All the best to the team,” he tweeted.
Cremer, who had been in brilliant form with the ball in the lead-up to the tournament, was equally devastated, as he shared the X-ray of his injured forearm on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe national cricket team left Sharjah for India yesterday after the conclusion of their training camp and practice matches against a local club and former World Twenty20 champions West Indies.
“They will sleep over in New Delhi and proceed to Dharamshala on Wednesday (today) for two more warm-up matches against Bangladesh on the March 4 and Ireland on March 6, under the ICC practice schedule for the World Twenty20 tournament,” ZC said in a statement yesterday.
The Zimbabwe touring party will then head to Nagpur, for their ICC World Twenty20 Group B qualifying matches against Hong Kong, Scotland and Afghanistan on March 8, 10 and 12, respectively.
The top team the group will progress to the Super 10 stage, joining England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
Zimbabwe Squad: Hamilton Masakadza (Captain), Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tawanda Mupariwa, Chamu Chibhabha, Wellington Masakadza, Peter Moor, Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams, Donald Tiripano, Tendai Chisoro