HomeSportCricketZim players seek to impress Whatmore

Zim players seek to impress Whatmore

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ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) fringe players will be hoping to impress newly-appointed national team coach Davenell “Dav” Whatmore and selectors when they take on minnows Canada at Harare Sports Club in four fifty-over matches starting tomorrow.

DANIEL NHAKANISO
SPORTS REPORTER

The Zimbabwe A side, which will be captained by seasoned off-spinner Prosper Utseya ,is made up of mainly fringe players some of whom are part of the country’s provisional World Cup squad, which must be reduced to 15 players by January 7.

 Prosper Utseya
Prosper Utseya

While Whatmore, who only began work on Friday, is not expected to make any major changes ahead of the World Cup, the absence of several senior players provides an ideal platform for fringe players to shine on the international stage.

The Zimbabwe A squad parades some of the upcoming youngsters in the form of batsmen Ryan Burl (20) and Charles Kunje (20), all-rounder Luke Jongwe (20) and spinner Wellington Masakadza (21), among others.

Zimbabwe A coach Shepherd Makunura lamented the effects of the recent wet weather on his side’s preparations. The Mountaineers coach, however, lauded ZC for organising the matches, saying they were ideal for exposing upcoming players to international cricket.

“Obviously the recent rains have not been ideal for our preparations, but we have managed to have two days of training at the Country Club in Newlands.

We are really looking forward to the matches against Canada; they are good for development as they are an opportunity for our young players to get some exposure at international level.

“It’s a good platform for the new coach and selectors to see which players are coming up and hopefully some of the young players will put their hands up,” he said.

Makunura welcomed the inclusion of senior players to the side. Utseya together with middle order batsman Craig Ervine and seamer Brian Vitori were added to the squad so that they get some form ahead of possible selection into Zimbabwe’s World Cup squad next month.

Utseya missed Zimbabwe’s recent tour of Bangladesh after being suspended from bowling by the International Cricket Committee for an illegal action before the ban was lifted last month after remedial work and a re-test. The 29-year-old’s off-spin deliveries were, however, found to be illegal.

“It’s good for the youngsters to play alongside the senior players. For instance Prosper has played at the highest level and even captained the senior national team and the younger players will gain a lot from playing with him,” he said.

Canada, who lost one-day international (ODI) status in February, will use the matches against the Zimbabwe A to prepare for their WCL Division Two tournament which will take place in Namibia from January 17 to 24.

Canada will play the hosts, Kenya, the Netherlands, Nepal and Uganda with winner going through to the Intercontinental Cup and the World Cricket League Championship, which would be a step to regaining their ODI badge.

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