10 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Chigumbura Out of Zim Squad

FORMER Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura has paid the price for his dipping form after he was left out of the 24-member training squad to start preparing for the impending tour of the West Indies.

The Mashonaland Eagles all-rounder is one of the few notable omissions in a squad that is set to go into camp with coach Alan Butcher two weeks before the team's departure.

Zimbabwe are expected to tour the West Indies next month with their first One Day International against the hosts set for February 22.

There was no place, however, for veteran all rounder Chigumbura in the provisional squad from which the travelling party will be picked.

Pace bowler Shingi Masakadza, Charles Coventry and 21-year old fast bowler Richard Muzhange who broke onto the scene last year have also been overlooked.

Chairman of the selectors Givemore Makoni yesterday said players have been called on the basis of current form and statistics in the domestic competitions.

The hard-hitting all-rounder Chigumbura has for some time since last year been treading on the edges as he had often struggled to maintain consistency with his bowling and batting figures.

"The selection criterion is simple because it is all based on form and statistics on the ground.

Not everyone who has played for Zimbabwe in the past is assured of a place for every tour. It's not like that.

"What you put in is what you get and those that were left out have not really impressed. They have not been able to amass the statistics in the domestic competitions," said Makoni.

Zimbabwe will play the West Indies in two Tests, three One-Day-Internationals and two Twenty20s between February and March.

The side, to be led by Brendan Taylor however has most of the players who make the core of Zimbabwe following the inclusion of Vusi Sibanda, Graeme Cremer, Hamilton Masakadza, Chris Mpofu, Ray Price, Tino Mawoyo and Prosper Utseya.

Fast bowlers Edward Rainsford and Tinashe Panyangara have returned to the fold while upcoming players like Natsai Mushangwe, Tendai Chatara and Tino Mutombodzi have been given another opportunity. Matabeleland Tuskers' Sean Williams also makes a return to the sport after a year's absence.

"For a long time we had stuck to the same group of players and results still haven't been that good. So, if you notice, we have introduced a number of young players to expose them to the top level.

"But that doesn't guarantee anyone a place of going to West Indies. They have to keep working hard in the domestic competitions because their stats will determine who makes the final squad," said Makoni.

Coach Alan Butcher will take charge in this last tour before his contract expires. Zimbabwe however will leave for the tour without an international warm-up, with the domestic competitions providing the only platform for their preparations.

Zimbabwe Squad

Brendan Taylor (Captain), Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Mike Chinouya, Graeme Cremer, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Keegan Meth, Christopher Mpofu, Natsai M'shangwe, Cuthbert Musoko, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Tinashe Panyangara, Raymond Price, Edward Rainsford, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Nathan Waller and Sean Williams.

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