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Vitori boost for Zim

The Zimbabwe national cricket team’s bowling options have been boosted with the lifting of a ban on left arm seamer Brian Vitori ahead of a forthcoming series with New Zealand.

Kevin Mapasure

Vitori was suspended from bowling in February after he had been reported for suspect action in a T20 series between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

He underwent assessment in Chennai, where all variations of his deliveries exceeded the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under International Cricret Coma (ICC)’s regulations.

Vitori was left out of Zimbabwe’s World T20 squad that played at the World T20 tournament in India.

During the period covering his suspension, he also missed out on the India tour where Zimbabwe played three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and the same number of T20s against hosts. He was only allowed to play in domestic competitions.

But yesterday the ICC announced that Vitori’s action had been judged to be legal after a re-test in Pretoria on June 10.

“Zimbabwe left-arm fast bowler Brian Vitori’s bowling action has been found to be legal, the ICC confirmed, following remedial work and a re-test performed at the University of Pretoria on June 10,” the statement reads.

“The re-test revealed that the bend at Vitori’s elbow was within the permissible 15-degree limit for all his deliveries. He is now free to resume bowling in international cricket and at domestic tournaments worldwide.”

The 26-year old will now focus on adding to his four Tests, 19 ODIs and 11 T20Is for Zimbabwe after making his international debut in August 2011.

He will be looking to making it into the Zim A squad to face South Africa A in Harare and Bulawayo before Zimbabwe’s two Test series against New Zealand at the end of next month.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe coach Makhaya Ntini is optimistic of turning things around for the Chevrons after watching his team compete in their T20 series against India.

Zimbabwe lost both the ODI and T20 series which ended on Wednesday.

He, however, said Zimbabwe should not just focus on limited overs but should strive to compete in Tests.

Ntini told South Africa’s Cricket Magazine that he wants to see Zimbabwe improve its ODI record and try to avoid World Cup qualifiers.

“We know that this country shouldn’t have to go and play qualifiers,” he said. “This is where we are building them.

That challenge is not going to be just for a night. We want to make sure that everything we give them, they believe that they can do better. We are not in a position where we need to look very far ahead of us. Game-by-game, day-by-day trying to win and get in the position of believing in themselves.”

After the New Zealand Tests, Zimbabwe’s next assignment comes against Sri Lanka towards the end of the year.

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