Taylor, Raza left out of Ireland tour

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By Kevin Mapasure

Veteran batsmen Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza are set to be excluded in the squad that will tour Ireland for a five-match T20 series against the hosts starting on August 17.

Taylor, who was left out of the T20 squad that played against Bangladesh last month will, however, be part of the One-Day International (ODI) squad that will also play the hosts in three matches, which are part of the International Cricket Council Super League.

The Super League is being used as a route to the 2023 World Cup in India. The top seven nations at the end of the league will gain automatic places at the finals where they will join the hosts.

The rest of the teams in the 13-nation league will have to contest teams from League Two in a qualifying tournament that will be played in Zimbabwe next year.

NewsDay Weekender has heard that Raza and Taylor are not pleased with the decision to exclude them from the T20 squad.

They are both in the bio-bubble where the squad is preparing for the tour.

Raza captained Zimbabwe in their 2-1 series defeat to Bangladesh in the T-20s and he makes way for the returning Sean Williams.

Williams together with Craig Ervine missed Bangladesh’s visit to Zimbabwe after they both tested positive for COVID-19.

They have since recovered and are preparing with the rest of the squad.

A squad of 15 players will travel to Ireland on August 19 ahead of the T20 series which will be played on August 27 and 29 for the first two in Dublin before they move to Bready where they will play three more on September 1, 2 and 4.

All the three ODIs will be played in Belfast on September 8, 10 and 13.

The squad has been placed in a bio-secure environment as per the Sports and Recreation Commission demands as they conduct their preparations.

The experienced pair of Williams and Ervine have boosted Zimbabwe who will be looking to win particularly the ODIs that carry points towards the World Cup qualifiers.

Zimbabwe were whitewashed by Bangladesh on home soil in their last series and failed to put any points on the board, which hampered their chances of making it as automatic qualifiers to the 2023 global showpiece in India.

They only have 10 points on their tally after playing six matches and they will be hoping for a clean sweep in Ireland for them to get their campaign back on track.

Their only win so far came against Pakistan away from home, but they followed that up with a 3-0 series defeat at home against Bangladesh, who pushed their points tally to 80 from 12 matches.

Zimbabwe’s defeat to Bangladesh has rocked their camp with the board demanding a turn of the fortunes.

Coach Lalchand Rajput was also thrust into the spotlight following the defeats, but the Zimbabwe Cricket has stood firm behind him absolving the Indian of any
blame.

The majority of the players that played in the limited overs against Bangladesh have made the squad with Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Dion Myers and Milton Shumba among those that have retained their places.

Zimbabwe squad :Sean Williams (captain), Craig Ervine, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Wessley Madhevere, Silandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tarisai Musakanda, Dion Myers, Milton Shumba, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Donald Tiripano,

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