Williams Happy With Top World Ranking

ZIMBABWE’S Sean Williams is happy he has maintained his place among the top T20 all-rounders in the world despite a prolonged period of inactivity by the Chevrons.

Williams, was placed third in the latest rankings, released by the International Cricket Council.

The 33-year-old, who had been in second place for the past few months, dropped one place down the ladder.

He swapped places with Australia’s Glenn Maxwell.

But, the major concern for the left hander is the lack of game time this year.

Williams, who has played 40 T20Is for Zimbabwe, scoring 844 runs and claiming 32 wickets, was last involved in competitive cricket back in March.

That was during the Chevrons’ tour of Bangladesh.

“It feels nice to be ranked up there and be among the best. I think I had some good performances late last year and that contributed to my rise,” he told The Herald.

“But, obviously going down one place isn’t good.

“I would like to think that if we had been playing games, I would have improved in all formats.”

Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi remains the highest ranked all-rounder in T20I cricket.

Williams is also among the top 10 One Day International all-rounders, along with compatriot Sikandar Raza.

Raza occupies ninth place while Williams is in 10th position.

The Zimbabwean players have suffered from lack of game time after most of their fixtures were scrapped this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We missed quite a lot of opportunities this year and that, obviously, affected not only me but most of the national team players who, otherwise, could have had better rankings.

“I hope things go back to normal, as soon as possible, so that we start playing again,” said Williams.

The Chevrons are hoping to salvage the last assignment on the calendar — the tour to Pakistan next month.

The possibility of the tour going ahead is still being deliberated by the Government in light of the coronavirus lockdown regulations.

ZC have since made an application to the Sports and Recreation Commission and are awaiting a response.

Their spokesperson, Darlington Majonga, yesterday said players had resumed zonal training in different provinces.

“The players are back at training but they are still meeting in small groups, just like they were doing previously, until we get clarity from the Government.

“Once we get the response from the authorities we will then be able to activate the training plan in place for the Pakistan tour,” said Majonga.

Zimbabwe and Pakistan are scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20Is.

The ODIs are part of the ICC Super League.

The Zimbabweans need to reach Pakistan by end of next week so that they will be able to complete their 14-day quarantine period.

Reports from Pakistan say ZC have approached the Pakistan Cricket Board to enquire about the Standard Operating Procedures to be adopted for the safety of the visiting squad.

“To get approval from their Government, Zimbabwe Cricket has approached us to know about the measures that will be taken for the safety of touring squad.

“Zimbabwe Cricket told us that it requires details of the arrangements being planned by the PCB as it is a prerequisite to get NOC for the tour,” a PCB official told the Pakistan media.

He added that the PCB were in process of finalising the SOPs so they could share these with ZC.

“Due to presence of Covid-19 cases, special arrangements have been planned for all cricket activities, including the Zimbabwe tour that needs extraordinary handling,” the official said.

Following the recent tour to England, the PCB officials have a better know-how of to host any touring party in a bio-secure environment.

“Pakistan have learnt a lot during their stay in England and now they have all the ability to make required arrangements for the safe hosting of the series.

“ZC also wanted to know about the practice facilities that would be given to the visiting players during quarantine period.” There is a possibility that all the six matches will be staged in Lahore.

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