Zimbabwe national cricket selectors have explained the surprise omission of all-rounder Sean Williams from the squad that flew out to Bangladesh last Friday.
Williams, one of Zimbabwe’s best players, had been expected to make it into both the Test and ODI squads but his name was missing from the list of travellers.
Yesterday convenor of selectors Givemore Makoni said Williams lost much training time while attending to family commitments.
“Williams missed half of the training programme which the others went through so for that reason he could not be included in the squad,” said Makoni.
“He is an integral part of our team and we would have wanted to have him in the squad.”
Williams was expected to make an impact against Bangladesh as he also comes in handy with the ball, in addition to his expertise in playing spin.
Also missing from the trip to Bangladesh is the opening duo of Mark Vermeulen and Tino Mawoyo.
Mawoyo was hoping to bounce back after being overlooked for the team that faced South Africa in Harare in a Test match.
But after failing to regain form when he was sent out to Bangladesh with the Zimbabwe A squad, Mawoyo finds himself on the sidelines again.
Vermeulen struggled against spin when Zimbabwe played and lost to South Africa in a Test match. He also failed to show any signs of improvement when he played for Zimbabwe A.
“Vermeulen travelled with the Zimbabwe A squad to Bangladesh and he did not do too well. In this squad we had a bias towards players that are good at playing spin and we felt there were guys that have shown they play spin better than Vermeulen. He is a good batsman in certain conditions and he will be picked whenever we encounter the conditions he is good at.”
Meanwhile Craig Ervine will be looking to make an instant impact on return after committing himself to the national team after a couple of years out.
His proficiency in playing spin casts him into the limelight as Zimbabwe seeks a rare away Test win.
Makoni said Ervine’s return had come at an auspicious time and he had boosted Zimbabwe’s hopes of success on the subcontinent.
“Craig is a very good player, he has only just returned but he was playing cricket in New Zealand and his statistics tell the story. He has been working hard during training and he was doing well. Even the last time he played for Zimbabwe in the West Indies we picked him just for the limited overs, but we ended up including him in the Test side. We are excited to have him back and what he offers is what we have been missing.”
Ervine will add to his four Tests for Zimbabwe as well his 25 ODIs. His best Test score of 49 came against Bangladesh in 2011.
Brian Chari, who starred with the bat in Bangladesh while representing Zimbabwe A and Wellington Masakadza who did well with the ball taking 12 wickets, are the only uncapped players.
Chari, Shingi Masakadza and Wellington Masakadza will return to Zimbabwe after the Tests to be replaced for the ODIs by three players out of Neville Madziva, Timycen Maruma, Solomon Mire, Peter Moor, Tawanda Mupariwa and Brian Vitori.
Zimbabwe play three Tests starting October 25, followed by five ODIs in November and December.
Test squad: Brendan Taylor (capt), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingi Masakadza, Wellington Masakadza, Natsai M’shangwe, Richmond Mutumbami, John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, and Malcolm Waller
ODI Squad: Elton Chigumbura, Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Natsai M’shangwe, Richmond Mutumbami, John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Malcolm Waller, three out of Neville Madziva, Timycen Maruma, Solomon Mire, Peter Moor, Tawanda Mupariwa and Brian Vitori.