ZC re-open academy for fringe players

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has reopened its academy at the Country Club in a bid to polish fringe national team players and help satisfy national requirements.

Report by Staff Writer.

Nineteen players have been enrolled at the academy for a two-month intensive programme that will prepare them for the national team.

The academy was closed in 2006 after the facility’s pavilion was burned down by former national batsman Mark Vermeulen, and has been used for national team practice after reopening.

But, after the establishment of an indoor practice facility the Country Club has been restored as a centre of excellence.

ZC convenor of selectors Givemore Makoni said that they had set out a programme that ensures that when players are called into the national team they will be ready to perform.

“If you look at the Bangladesh tour we had problems filling up the opening slot after Tino Mawoyo’s injury and we tried a couple of untested players in that position,” said Makoni. “So we will open the academy on July 1 with 19 players who will undergo an intensive polishing programme so that they are ready when needed. We have selected predominantly national team fringe players. The programme will run every year but will be modeled around the needs of the game at that time. This time we want to prepare fringe players but, next year we might have a different idea depending on the needs.”

Some of the players selected have already represented
the national team but are still knocking on the door for regular places.

Spinners, Natsai Mushangwe and Tino Mutombodzi, as well as seamers Richard Muzhange, Tendai Chatara and Njabulo Ncube are some of the players who have been selected.

Tymcen Maruma who opened the batting with Vusi Sibanda in the first Test against Bangladesh as well as Richmond Mutumbami who was keeper will also benefit from the programme.

The national team technical department will be in charge of the programme.

Meanwhile, the selectors will trim the current 25-men training squad for the India tour next week. Zimbabwe will play five One-Day Internationals against the Asian giants, which will be preceded by a four-day match against Australia A.

Academy squad
Tino Mutombodzi, Cuthbert Musoko, Ray Kahiya, Brian Chari, Richmond Mutumbami, Tendai Chatara, Kevin Kasuza, Richard Muzhange, Kudzai Maunze, Mike Chinouya, Tymcen Maruma, Nathan Waller, Keith Kondo, Njabulo Ncube, Gumbie, Odacious Manje and Rememberance Nyathi. —