The Zimbabwe national cricket team squad that has been preparing for next month’s tour to South Africa, this week took a break from training and will resume training next week.
BY Kevin Mapasure
The squad started preparations for the series that will feature three matches in each of the white ball versions of the game.
After the South Africa tour, Zimbabwe will travel to Bangladesh, where they will play all three formats of the game against hosts.
Zimbabwe Cricket is expected to issue the players with new contracts this week, ahead of the new season.
All-rounder Sikandar Raza, who cancelled his contract with ZC, a few months ago is expected to be offered a new deal, that would see him return to the national team after he missed the T20 tri series that involved Pakistan and Australia as well as the five match one-day international (ODI) series against the former which was played in Bulawayo.
Raza has not been training with the rest of the squad as he had issues to sort out with ZC, while he has also been in the United Kingdom.
Batsmen Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams, who also missed the last two series having gone unpaid, have since returned to training together with former skipper Graeme Cremer.
Coach Lalchand Rajput finally got the opportunity to work with a full strength side after he was forced to make do with a make-shift squad after the withdrawal of several regulars in the last series.
Zimbabwe faced Australia and Pakistan in a T20 triangular series where the hosts failed to win a single match, while they were whitewashed in their five-match ODI series against the latter in a five-match affair.
A 30-member squad has been put together with the majority of the players that featured in the two series making it into the side, while Malcolm Waller, who played in the triangular series and withdrew from the squad in the ODI series was left out.
Solomon Mire, who also missed the ODI series owing to injury, is also part of the squad as is Kyle Jarvis who was injured.
Zimbabwe will clash with Bangladesh for two Tests and three ODIs in a tour that comes soon after their visit to South Africa, where they will play limited overs cricket.
The tough tour to South Africa will help prepare Zimbabwe for Bangladesh, a place they have struggled at in recent years.
BCB decided to move the series so that it will not clash with general elections in that country next year.
Zimbabwe will head straight to Bangladesh from South Africa where they will play their final match on October 14.
They have three ODIs scheduled for September 30, October 3 and 6. The three T-20s will be played on October 9, 12 and 14.
Zimbabwe last played Test cricket when they hosted West Indies in October last year and it will be a year since they last played that format when they take on Bangladesh.