County challenge for Chevrons stars ahead of Netherlands series

The others include Gary Ballance, Tendai Chatara, Innocent Kaia, Chamu Chibhabha, Luke Jongwe and Brandon Mavuta.

FAST bowler Blessing Muzarabani headlines the list of several Zimbabwe national team stars, who are set to get some competitive game time against the touring English county cricket sides Durham and Glamorgan as they prepare for the three-match ODI series against Netherlands later this month.

Muzarabani, whose last appearance for Zimbabwe came against India at the T20 World Cup in Australia in November last year was yesterday named in the Southerns side which will take on Glamorgan in a one-day game at Harare Sports Club today.

The pace bowler is one of the several senior national team players who will be part of the Southerns side.

The others include Gary Ballance, Tendai Chatara, Innocent Kaia, Chamu Chibhabha, Luke Jongwe and Brandon Mavuta.

Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine is perhaps the most experienced national team player in the Northerns side that will face Durham in the other 50-over match scheduled for today at Old Hararians Sports Club.

The Northerns side also features other national team regulars such as Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Ryan Burl, Brad Evans, Richard Ngarava and Victor Nyauchi.

Another one-day match between a local side and Durham scheduled for Harare Sports Club on Tuesday will wrap up the tour by the county teams.

Durham and Glamorgan, who are among the top first-class clubs within the England and Wales domestic cricket set-up, are in Zimbabwe as part of their pre-season programmes.

The English county sides have so far dominated the three-day matches and preceeding T20 matches against the two regional teams, which featured a number of development players.

The inclusion of seasoned national team stars is expected to give the players some much needed competition ahead of the series against Netherlands.

The ODI series against Netherlands is part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League which forms part of the qualification process for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 to be played in India.

However, with Zimbabwe and the Netherlands both out of contention to qualify directly for the World Cup via the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League, the two sides already have their sights on booking their World Cup tickets through the qualifiers which will be played from June 18 to July 9 in Harare and Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton said he was hoping to use the series against Netherlands to build some winning momentum ahead of the qualifying tournament on home soil.

“We will have to qualify for this year’s World Cup and these games are the beginning of that run-in for us,” he said.

“We need to continue winning, particularly at home. The Dutch are a formidable outfit, and call on experience from all round the world.”


NORTHERNS: Akram Faraz, Burl Ryan, Ervine Graig, Evans Bradley, Gumbie Joylord, Madhevere Wessly, Makoni Tanunurwa, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Masakadza Wellington, Mayavo Nyasha, Masuku Ernest, Munyonga Tony, Ngarava Richard, Nyauchi Victor

SOUTHERNS: Ballance Gary, Bennett Brian, Campbell Johnathan, Chatara Tendai, Chibhabha Chamunorwa, Chivanga Tanaka, Jaure Keith, Jongwe Luke, Kaia Innocent, Madande Clive, Mavuta Brandon, Mpofu Nkosana, Muzarabani Blessing, Ndlovu Ainsle

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