HomePoliticsNon-performers escape chop: Blignaut, Chibhabha in

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NON-PERFOMING senior players have been spared the axe in Zimbabwe’s squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies at the end of next month.

Only Stuart Matsikenyeri paid the price for the team’s disappointing 4-1 series defeat in the West Indies by being left out of the 15-man team that was picked this week.

The squad remains largely unchanged, but the big news is the inclusion of explosive all-rounder Andy Blignaut, who completes a return to international cricket for the third time in his career.

The only new face is the uncapped batsman Craig Ervine, the talented younger brother of Hampshire’s Sean Ervine, who himself is targeting a return to the Zimbabwe team at the expiry of his Kolpak contract in the UK.

Twenty four-year-old left-hander Craig — a former Zimbabwe amateur golfer — has represented Zimbabwe Under 19s, Zimbabwe “A”, Midlands and now Southern Rocks.

Opening batsman Chamu Chibhabha returns to the team after impressing in Zimbabwe’s domestic Twenty20 competition in which he was second highest run-scorer.

Blignaut, Ervine and Chibhabha come in at the expense of Matsikenyeri, Shingi Masakadza and the injured Kyle Jarvis.

The 15-man squad will travel to the Caribbean with an additional player in Manicaland Mountaineers’ teenage pace sensation Tendai Chatara. The promising right-armer from Dangamvura, who opened the bowling for Zimbabwe at the Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand in January, will only play in a warm-up match against West Indies “A” starting on April 16 before flying back home.

Zimbabwe will be under new coach Alan Butcher, a former England international, for the first time.

Squad

Prosper Utseya (captain), Brendan Taylor, Charles Coventry, Andy Blignaut, Hamilton Masakadza, Tatenda Taibu, Greg Lamb, Elton Chigumbura, Vusi Sibanda, Ray Price, Graeme Cremer, Chamu Chibhabha, Chris Mpofu, Timycen Maruma, Craig Ervine.

 

Enock Muchinjo

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