Vermeulen and Coventry return ahead of Faithwear series

Posted by admin on February 23, 2009

A Sunday News article by Mehluli Sibanda has has revealed that the Faithwear series will be starting this Friday.

He also explains the reason for Tatenda Taibu's non-appearance in the Kenya ODI series: it was due to his kit bag being left in Bangladesh, as their luggage was too far overweight for the flight. This would probably rank among some of the strangest reasons to miss an entire series, but apparantly it is so.

Taibu's absence allowed Forster Mutizwa - the backup wicket keeper - to play all 5 ODI's and he impressed, averaging over 40 in the series and showing an aggressive array of shots.

The Faithwear series - the annual domestic one day competition - will start this Friday, the 27th. The series will run until March 7 and most likely all games will be played in Harare. Selectors will use the series in order to decide upon two squads, Zimbabwe A to play in Namibia, and the national squad to tour Sri Lanka. It is unknown how the Indian or Canada tour will fit into this.

And finally, it looks like Charles Coventry might be making a return to the national team. He fell out with ZC due to a difference of opinion with former coach Kevin Curran, but new coach Walter Chawaguta has arranged a meeting with the hard hitting wicket-keeper batsman in Harare to discuss his availability.

Signs are promising, with Coventry being selected for the Zimbabwe A tour to Namibia. The tour will comprise of 3 one day matches and a Twenty20.

Mark Vermeulen, whose career looked over after he set fire to the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy and Harare Sports Club boardrooms, has made a remarkable comeback also. Vermeulen was also selected in the Zimbabwe A squad to tour Namibia.

As expected, Malcolm Waller has been moved into the Zimbabwe A squad while consistent domestic performer and Uprising captain Robertson Chinyengetere has also made the squad. The most surprising selection was that of 18 year old Peter Moor, who has represented Zimbabwe U-19s. Moor hasn't played any professional cricket, so the Namibia tour may see him make his List A and Twenty20 debut if he makes the final squad of 14.

Zimbabwe A permanent fixture Trevor Garwe will spearhead a pace bowling attack which also boasts Shingi Masakadza and Admire Manyumwa. Timycen Maruma and Tafadzwa Kamungozi will provide spin for the team. It is likely the wicket keeping duties will go to Tafadzwa Ngulube, although Charles Coventry and Regis Chakabva are also possible candidates.

The 20 man squad will be cut down to 14 ahead of the tour, most likely announced this Thursday.

Preliminary Zimbabwe A squad for the Namibia tour: E Chauluka, M Vermuelen, R Chakabva, B Mlambo, T Ngulube, M Mabuza, P Moor, B Chapungu, T Chimbambo, M Waller, C Coventry, R Chinyengetere, S Masakadza, T Garwe, A Manyumwa, P Charumbira, T Maruma, T Kamungozi, N Mushangwe, T Chisoro
Reserves: C Zhuwawo, M Chinouya, J Nyumbu, B Bala

Zimbabwe A final squad (possible): C Coventry, T Ngulube (wk), M Vermeulen, E Chauluka (c), M Waller, R Chakabva, A Manyumwa, T Maruma, T Kamungozi, S Masakadza, T Garwe -- R Chinyengetere, M Mabuza, T Chisoro

Fixture rundown: For anyone wondering what the upcoming fixtures look like:
Tour: Namibia away (Feb 28 - Mar 4)
Tour: Deodhar Trophy away (Mar 13 - Mar 18)
Tour: Sri Lanka away (Mar 11 - Mar 22)
Tour: Canada home (Mar 18 - Mar 26)

It's still not clear how Zimbabwe will juggle 3 tours at once (Sri Lanka, Canada and Deodhar Trophy overlap) - it is possible that Canada will play a tour match against a province, likely Northerns, which would allow time for the team touring India to arrive back in Zimbabwe. Lovemore Banda indicated that the national team would be touring India, but obviously this is not possible unless the fixtures are changed. So it would appear that Zimbabwe A will play Namibia away, then Zimbabwe A will travel to India for the Deodhar Trophy, and then Zimbabwe A will return to play Canada. Meanwhile the Zimbabwe national team will play an ODI series in Sri Lanka. Hopefully this becomes less confusing as more details come to light.

UPDATE: In a bizarre set of circumstances, the website has stated that the Namibian tour will actually take place in mid-March - at the same time of the proposed tours of Sri Lanka and India. This means that at least 3 separate teams will need to be created. This situation is still difficult to decipher - for the latest updates check this thread on where we are trying to come to some sort of reasonable conclusion about what is going on. thread "Deciphering the madness"