The Zimbabwe national cricket team has lost two key batsmen ahead of the home series against Bangladesh starting next week.
Report by Kevin Mapasure
Opening batsman Tino Mawoyo has been ruled out by a groin injury and requires surgery which will be conducted in South Africa and rules him out of this tour.
On the other hand efforts to get Craig Ervine to play the first Test have hit a brick wall after the middle order batter indicated he had signed a contract overseas and could not represent Zimbabwe.
Ervine trained with the rest of the squad after he was named in a reduced 21 member squad despite having turned down a five-month contract to play for Zimbabwe.
On a positive note Sean Williams was expected in Harare late yesterday and will start training with the rest of the squad today. Team manager Bond Nayato yesterday said despite the injuries and loss of some key players preparations were progressing well.
“I can confirm the injury to Mawoyo, he will require surgery on his groin and that will be done in South Africa,” said Nayato. “He is out of the series against Bangladesh and so is Craig Ervine who has since signed a contract to play abroad. Chris Mpofu will definitely miss the first Test but he has been making steady progress to recovery; he might make it for the second Test.
Williams has agreed to come in and play, he wanted his lawyers to look at the contract first but he is travelling from Bulawayo today (yesterday) and will be at training tomorrow. The selectors will announce the squad for the first Test two day before the start.”
Bangladesh arrived in Harare yesterday and will be conducting their practice sessions at the Harare Sports Club in the run up to the first Test on Wednesday.
The unavailability of the players opens up opportunities for others and former captain and all-rounder Elton Chigumbura, who played a key part the last time the two nations squared off at the same venue in 2011, is likely to earn a berth.
Squad; Brendan Taylor (capt), Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Malcolm Waller, Kyle Jarvis, Brian Vitori, Elton Chigumbura, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Ray Price, Tendai Chatara, Michael Chinouya, Keegan Meth, Natsai M’shangwe, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Timycen Maruma, Shingirai Masakadza, Richmond Mutumbami and Williams.