By Kevin Mapasure
ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has gathered together 32 players housed in a controlled environment as they prepare for their upcoming tour to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where they will face hosts Afghanistan next month.
The tour had initially been slated for India, before the possibility of staging it in Oman was also explored till the host nation settled for the UAE.
A delay in the granting of permission to travel by the government saw the dates pushed from February to March.
The Zimbabwean government has adopted a strict COVID-19 protocol on sport and associations have to apply well on time if they want to participate in tournaments.
Last week, ZC was given the greenlight to travel for the series that will feature Test and T-20 series.
The selected group will play a series of four-day matches under the watchful eyes of national team coaches and selectors.
Head coach Lalchand Rajput is currently out of the country as he is involved in a T-20 tournament in Dubai.
It’s likely that about 20 players will travel for the tour.
Notable absentees include bowlers Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis who have been nursing shoulder and back injuries respectively.
Brian Chari, who opened the batting in the last tour of Pakistan, has also been omitted.
Most of the players who usually get national team call-ups are in the squad, which has been split into two sides — Notherns and Southerns.
Test skipper Sean Williams is in the Southerns squad, which also contains Prince Masvaure, Tarisai Musakanda, keeper/batsman Regis Chakabva, Peter Moor and Carl Mumba, among others.
The Northens squad has Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Kevin Kasuza, Donald Tiripano, Richard Ngarava and Wesley Madhevere to mention a few.
Southerns Squad: P Masvaure, T Kaitano, T Musakanda, S Williams, R Burl, S Raza, R Chakabva, W Masakadza, W Mashinge, V Nyauchi, B Muzarabani, PJ Moor, F Akram, T Chisoro, C Mumba, C Chibhabha
Northerns Squad: K Kasuza, B Mudzinganyama, C Ervine, B Taylor, T Maruma, W Madhevere, R Mutumbami, B Mavuta, D Tiripano, T Chivanga, R Ngarava, L Jongwe, T Mufudza, M Shumba, E Masuku, T Kamunhukamwe