Zimbabwe name youthful squad for Afghanistan tour
Zimbabwe have selected a youthful squad to face Afghanistan in two Tests and three T20 international matches in Abu Dhabi.
Tarisai Musakanda, who had not played another Test match since he made his debut away to Sri Lanka in July 2017, has bounced back to reclaim his place in the national side following some impressive performances.
After being named the National Premier League batsman of the tournament, the 26-year-old has continued with his good form with the bat, hitting back-to-back centuries for the Southerns select side in the four-day matches that Zimbabwe have been using to prepare for the upcoming tour.
Another in-form player in line to make what would also be only his second Test appearance is Ryan Burl, also aged 26, after the selectors included him among the 15 players picked for the five-day matches.
Wessly Madhevere, the 20-year-old sensation who has already caused waves in limited-overs international cricket, is also set to earn his Test cap. The travelling squad also includes other youthful players in Blessing Muzarabani, 24, Brandon Mavuta, 23, Richard Ngarava, 23, Wellington Masakadza, 27, and Kevin Kasuza, 27.
Captain Sean Williams together with Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva and Donald Tiripano will provide Zimbabwe with the much-needed experience for the series.
Conspicuous by their absence from the squad are the veteran duo of Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine who both failed to join the national team camp due to illness and could thus not be considered for the tour.
Tendai Chatara and Chamu Chibhabha have also missed out as they are still yet to fully recover from right upper-arm and thigh muscle injuries respectively.
PJ Moor was ruled out too after he suffered a hamstring injury during a practice match this week. Zimbabwe are set to leave for Abu Dhabi via Dubai this Friday.
The trio of Milton Shumba, Faraz Akram and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe will join the squad later for the T20I series. The first Test is scheduled for 2-6 March, with the second five-day match pencilled in for 10-14 March.
The T20I games will be played on 17, 19 and 20 March.
Zimbabwe Test Squad for Afghanistan Tour 2021:
Sean Williams (captain), Ryan Burl, Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva, Kevin Kasuza, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Brandon Mavuta, Tarisai Musakanda, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Donald Tiripano