Selectors warn of more senior casualties

Zimbabwe Cricket convener of selectors Givemore Makoni has warned more big names could fall by the way side ahead of Zimbabwe’s tour to the West Indies if they fail to perform.

Report by Kevin Mapasure

A 24-member training squad has been selected and conspicuous by his absence is former captain and all-rounder Elton Chigumbura.
Chigumbura has been dropped for the first time in ages but he would be the first to admit that he has failed to reach his potential.

Makoni challenged Chigumbura to rise and shine again so that he can be considered in future.

“He is a talented player, one of the best we have, but he has not been performing well for a long time now,” said Makoni.

“He last played well in New Zealand in the T-20s but after that he has failed to regain form both on the international and domestic scene. Before the New Zealand tour we were also carrying him hoping that he would pick up form yet he has failed. We hope that he works hard (as) he is an important player for Zimbabwe. We want him to get the stats in the domestic league so that he can be recalled.”

Chigumbura’s season on the domestic scene has been blighted by injuries but he has since regained fitness and is featuring regularly for Mashonaland Eagles.

Another notable omission is that of Shingi Masakadza who also played well in New Zealand in the T-20s.

Makoni explained that while Masakadza had done well in some instances, the all-rounder fell short in justifying his inclusion in the training squad where the touring team would be picked from.

In the case of hard-hitting middle order batsman Charles Coventry, Makoni argued that after considering the opposition’s bowling attack, they decided the West Indies was not the best place to take Coventry.

“They have bowlers who can hit the 140km/hr speed mark and Coventry is suspect when faced with serious pace. He has done well on the local scene and we seriously considered him for the shorter versions, but in the end we decided we were unlikely to get the best out of him in the West Indies. He remains part of our future plans. We have a lot of cricket coming up this year and we have an idea of the matches he will be called up for.”

While there have been surprises in the omissions the squad itself contains a couple of surprises with the inclusion of Ray Price being the biggest. Price has been sidelined for a long time and only started playing cricket a week before Christmas, yet he has been selected ahead of players that have been working their socks off to get recognition.

The 37-year old has a few years of cricket left in him and some have argued it is time to ease him out and plan for the future. The selectors picked younger players who have shown great potential and Makoni warned that the big names would not walk into the team.
“There is a possibility some big names could find themselves missing from that list. It’s time to give a chance to our next generation of players and national team regulars should work hard for their places. The youngsters are working hard so we will reward hard work and those who relax will miss the trip.”

Squad:
Brendan Taylor (Captain), Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Mike Chinouya, Graeme Cremer, Craig  Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Keegan Meth, Christopher Mpofu, Natsai Mushangwe, Cuthbert Musoko, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Tinashe Panyangara, Raymond Price, Edward Rainsford, Vusumuzi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Nathan Waller and Sean Williams.

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