By Kevin Mapasure
The Zimbabwe national cricket team is in Ireland where they are set to take on the hosts in white ball cricket starting next week.
Batsman Brendan Taylor, who had initially been excluded from the T20 squad much to the chagrin of the fans travelled with the squad and is expected to feature in the five-match series.
The selectors are said to be looking at building towards the future and want to ease out senior players, so much so that they had decided on leaving Taylor and Sikandar Raza out.
Raza is part of the 18-men squad, but will not feature in the shortest format of the game.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) confirmed the team’s departure yesterday even though the team had left a day earlier.
In Ireland they will be involved in three International Cricket Council (ICC) Super League matches, which carry points towards the 2023 World Cup qualification.
“Zimbabwe left for Ireland on Thursday ahead of a limited-overs series that includes ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League matches.
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“A squad of 18 was picked for the tour, which includes three Twenty20international (T20I) matches in Scotland,” a ZC statement read.
“Zimbabwe and Ireland will first lock horns in five T20I games scheduled for August 27 and 29 at Clontarf and September 1, 2 and 4 at Bready.
The two sides will then face off at Stormont on September 8, 10 and 13 in a three-match one-day international series that is part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.
From there, Zimbabwe will proceed to Edinburgh to take on Scotland in three T20Is scheduled for September 15, 17 and 19.
Zimbabwe will be under pressure to win the One-Day International matches as they currently carry a single point from six matches.
A clean sweep in Ireland will give Zimbabwe some sort of hope in their pursuit of an automatic World Cup qualifying slot.
They currently anchor the 13-nation table with just 10 points from their single win over Pakistan.
Only the top seven nations at the end of the qualifying period will join the hosts India, while the rest will get another chance in qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe next year.
Two more nations will win places at the global showcase from that tournament.
Meanwhile, the women’s national team suffered a 22-run defeat to visiting Thailand at Takashinga yesterday.
The win levelled the five-match series going into the third match tomorrow.
Captain Mary Anne Musonda hit a half century, but it was in vain as Zimbabwe ran out of balls at 207 for nine.
Josephine Nkomo (5 for 35) claimed a fiver after Thailand had won the toss, while Nomvelo Sibanda claimed two scalps.
Zimbabwe squad for Ireland and Scotland tour
Burl Ryan, Chakabva Regis, Chatara Tendai, Ervine Craig, Jongwe Luke, Kamunhukamwe Tinashe, Madhevere Wessly, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Masakadza Wellington, Musakanda Tarisai, Muzarabani Blessing, Myers Dion, Ngarava Richard, Raza Sikandar, Shumba Milton, Taylor Brendan, Tiripano Donald, Williams Sean
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