SEAN Williams is likely to be recalled into action today when Zimbabwe take on Hong Kong in their penultimate Group B match of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualifier at Queens Sports Club.
BY KEVIN MAPASURE IN BULAWAYO
Williams has been sidelined in the last couple of months after suffering a broken finger, but has returned to training.
Yesterday, Williams batted in the nets and also took part in some bowling practice.
Coach Heath Streak said that there was a good chance Williams could make today’s team, but he will be assessed this morning if he is ready.
“He has a good chance of playing in the Hong Kong match. We have been putting him through the paces to see if he is ready for a match situation and he looks okay. A final assessment will be made in the morning before we make a decision,” Streak said after yesterday’s morning practice.
Malcolm Waller, who has seen runs eluding him, could make way for Williams if he is passed fit.
The technical team is looking to go with the bulk of the team that has played the last two matches, but they will be forced into a change, following the suspension of left arm seamer Brian Vitori.
Vitori was banned by the ICC after he was reported for bowling an illegal delivery.
This is the third time Vitori has been reported for bowling illegal deliveries.
He will have to go through an assessment and if he is cleared, he can immediately return to international cricket.
Options for Vitori’s replacement in the 11 include Kyle Jarvis, who played the first match against Nepal, but missed out on the Afghanistan one.
Then there is Richard Ngarava, who has been called in to replace Vitori in the squad.
“We have a settled line up and we do not want to upset things at the moment, so we would rather go with most of the guys that have played in the last two matches. Richard replaces Vitori in the squad and we think he is a good addition,” Streak said.
“While it is a blow losing Vitori, he did a fantastic job for us and we will miss him. I think Richard can also do the job he has been playing cricket, he played against Kenya and did well and we wanted a left arm bowler because that variation in our bowling attack is very important.”
Streak said that a win in today’s match is important for the Super Six stage.
“Hong Kong beat Afghanistan and they have a good chance of qualifying to the next stage. So its important for us to win against them, so that we can take the maximum points into the Super Six stage,” he said.
“Hong Kong showed what they can do when they beat Afghanistan. We have to take this match seriously and we respect them a lot. But we know that if we play our best cricket we should be too strong for them.”
Zimbabwe will face Scotland on Monday in their final group match, where they will be looking for another win.
Three teams from the two groups, qualify for the Super Six stage and each team carries points earned against the teams that they would have qualified together with.