Zimbabwe will give time to a number of emerging stars during the One Day International series against Pakistan, starting today at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, as they look to build a new team after failing to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Addressing the media on the eve of the first ODI, Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza said the series will be a litmus test for his rebuilding side.
“I think the biggest thing is that as a country we don’t play a lot of international cricket, so there’s a lot to be gained by playing these games,” the veteran batsman said.
“We won’t be at the World Cup but it’s an opportunity to start building with the guys who will be at the next World Cup.
“We have a lot of inexperienced guys, so it’s an opportunity to blood the new guys, give them a go and have them get the feel of what playing at the highest level is like.”
With the in-form batsman Solomon Mire and frontline pace bowler Kyle Jarvis sidelined by injury, while a few of the senior players who were part of the disastrous World Cup campaign did not avail themselves for selection, Zimbabwe are a little short on experience.
In Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Wellington Masakadza and Richard Ngarava, the home side boast young and talented players who have what it takes to compete against the world’s best.
Brian Chari and Prince Masvaure will be eager to seize their chance to impress, while the uncapped trio of Ryan Murray, Liam Roche and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe will be looking forward to making their international bow.
“The opposition will always be trying to come hard at you but I think it is very exciting,” the captain said.
“It is a big opportunity for a few of the guys to have a feel of the international stage and also for a few guys that haven’t been in the team, coming back and trying to reclaim their spots.
“The situation with Mire is that he sustained a bit of an injury the last game we played. They are still having a look at him but he”s very unlikely to play any part in the series.
“But there’s still a slight chance. They are assessing him, but definitely he won’t be available for the first couple of games and we’ve got at least two guys that are there as cover for the opening spots.
Zimbabwe ODI squad:
Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Hamilton Masakadza (captain), Wellington Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Peter Moor, Ryan Murray, Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Liam Roche, Donald Tiripano. — Zimbabwe Cricket/Sports Reporter