ZIMBABWE Cricket convener of selectors. David Mutendera, is confident in the squad that was selected for the upcoming limited-overs series tour of Pakistan.
The 20-man squad began camp yesterday in Harare.
They are set to intensify their preparations, this week, under a bio-secure bubble ahead of departure next Monday.
Fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani blasted his way into the final squad on the 11th hour after he was given the green-light to resume his international career.
The 24-year-old was not part of the provisional training squad because of contractual issues.
His return is seen as a massive boost, especially with the experienced front-line seamer Kyle Jarvis, ruled out of the Pakistan tour due to a stress fracture injury.
“No two ways about it, Blessing is a fine talent. He has been playing cricket consistently in the UK and his experience at that level is priceless.
“The same way we have also seen (Sikandar) Raza playing at some international events.
“These are the guys we can compare to foreign-based players in football. But, we are confident of all the players selected for this tour,” said Mutendera.
Muzarabani had put his international career on hold when he took up a Kolpak contract in the UK in 2018.
However, he is set to resume international cricket when Zimbabwe tour Pakistan for three One Day Internationals and as many T20 Internationals next month.
Two uncapped players, Milton Shumba and Faraz Akram also made it into the squad.
The selectors also included other young talents in the form of Wessly Madhevere and Richard Ngarava.
Middle order batsman Tarisai Musakanda, who currently is the leading batsman in the National Premier League, could count himself the biggest loser after missing out.
“Tarisai has done well but if you look into his case, he has not played much cricket since his return from Australia at the beginning of the year.
“Again, we already had selected a training squad that we have been working with, for some time and, logistically, it was going to be difficult.
“But, he is definitely one for the future,” said Mutendera.
The former Zimbabwe international also said they expect to see more talent, coming through club cricket, following exceptional performances by fringe players in the National Premier League.
The touring players took Covid-19 tests before checking into the secure bio-bubble camp.
The bubble — which will cover the team hotel, stadium and bus — will also limit the disruption on training and practice should a positive coronavirus case be recorded.
According to a statement from ZC, only the travelling players and members of the technical staff will be permitted access to the team hotel and practice ground.
The ODI series in Pakistan, which will be part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, is pencilled in for October 30, November 1 and 3.
The T20I matches are scheduled for November 7, 8 and 10. The Pakistan Cricket Board said the ODI series will now be played in Rawalpindi rather than Multan as originally scheduled
The T20I series between the sides has been moved from Rawalpindi to Lahore.
Pakistan Cricket Board Director — International Cricket, Zakir Khan told the PCB website that the changes in venues were due to “logistical and operational challenges.”
Zimbabwe Squad for Pakistan Tour:
Chamu Chibhabha (captain), Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams
Zim tour revised schedule
20 Oct – Zimbabwe arrival in Islamabad
21-27 Oct – Isolation period & practice
28-29 Oct – Practice at Pindi Cricket Stadium
30 Oct – 1st ODI, Pindi Cricket Stadium
1 Nov – 2nd ODI, Pindi Cricket Stadium
3 Nov – 3rd ODI Pindi Cricket Stadium
4 Nov – Travel to Lahore
5-6 Nov – Practice at Gaddafi Stadium
7 Nov – 1st T20I Gaddafi Stadium
8 Nov – 2nd T20I, Gaddafi Stadium
10 Nov – 3rd T20I, Gaddafi Stadium
12 Nov – Zimbabwe departure for Harare