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ICC, ZC
Zimbabwe men's cricket team (Image Credit: Google)
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Zimbabwe Call 25-Man Squad For Training Camp For Proposed Pakistan White Ball Series Tour

Zimbabwe have called up a provisional squad of  25, for a training camp in Harare starting on Tuesday,
ahead of their proposed white ball series tour to Pakistan. The October-November tour will see the two sides facing off in three one-day international (ODI) matches and as many Twenty-20 international (T20I) games.

The proposed ODI series which will be played in Pakistan, and will be part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, is drafted in for 30 October and 1 and 3 November. The T20I matches are scheduled for 7, 8 and 10 November.

Zimbabwe Cricket, SRC
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Zimbabwe call up 25 man squad for a training camp ahead of Pakistan Tour

The Zimbabwe squad included limited-overs captain Chamu Chibhabha and other experienced players of the likes of  Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams and Elton Chigumbura. Zimbabwe’s provisional squad for the tour also includes young talent in the form of ex-Under-19 stars Wesley Madhevere, Richard Ngarava, Brandon Mavuta and uncapped players including Milton Shumba and Faraz Akram.

Zimbabwe Cricket
Zimbabwe Cricket team

Luke Jongwe, Peter Moor, Tendai Chisoro and Wellington Masakadza have bounced back in contention for places in the final travelling squad.

On the other hand, the trio of Tendai Chatara, Kyle Jarvis and Ryan Burl have fully recovered from the injuries that ruled them out of Zimbabwe’s last international action earlier this year to make it for the training camp.

Zimbabwe’s training squad for Pakistan Tour:

Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Luke Jongwe, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Timycen Maruma, Wellington Masakadza, Brandon Mavuta, Peter Moor, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams

Mohammad Hafeez,
Mohammad Hafeez. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Mohammad Hafeez Ready To Rest To Give Opportunities To Youngsters For Zimbabwe Series

Pakistan’s veteran cricketer Mohammad Hafeez is ready to rest in the upcoming bilateral series against Zimbabwe at home — to give chances to youngsters. He last played for the Green Army in the T20I series against England last month where the all-rounder played extraordinary knock to lead them to victory. 

Pakistan will host Zimbabwe in October. The two teams will play three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals. 

Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In the recent interaction, Mohammad Hafeez expressed that he would make himself unavailable to give opportunities to youngsters. He believes that the upcoming series will give exposure to the rising cricketers.

“I am ready to take a rest from the series. I think it is the best opportunity to give more exposure to the younger players,” Mohammad Hafeez told a Pakistan TV channel.

Haider Ali needs to improve his skills: Mohammad Hafeez

Haider Ali
Haider Ali. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Talking about Haider Ali, who scored a gritty half-century in his debut T20I match against England, Hafeez heaped praise of him. He said that Haider had great talent which will help to raise through the ranks. But the experienced player advised Haider to work more on his technical skills to survive for a longer period in international cricket. 

“Haider is a great talent and plays with tremendous confidence which is required at the top level. However, he still needs to work a lot on his technique. If your technique is solid, then you can survive for long in international cricket,” Hafeez said.

“I hope he is working on it because if he improves his technique, his shot range will become ever better. I am praying for his success.

Mohammad Hafeez wants more youngsters like Haider Ali to come forward and lead Pakistan cricket from the front. He said that he feels proud when the young guns showcase their talent to the world. 

“I always like it when our youngsters showcase their talent in front of the world. This is how Pakistan cricket will move forward. I want more youngsters to come but after they are fully prepared and ready for international cricket.”

Mohammed Hafeez was surrounded by several controversies during the England tour as he violated the bio-secure bubble. 

mashrafe mortaza, BCB, Zimbabwe, ODI Series
Mashrafe Mortaza. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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BCB to Remove Mashrafe Mortaza as ODI Captain After Zimbabwe Series

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan proclaimed that the upcoming Zimbabwe series will be the last for Mashrafe Mortaza as the ODI captain. Meanwhile, the speculations of the retirement of the veteran were going on from the last year’s World Cup. However, there is no clearance over the fast bowler’s retirement.

Hasan also claimed that the team management will be more lenient over Musharfe’s fitness for the upcoming series. While Hasan also warned that the 36-year-old will have to work on his fitness to maintain his position in the team. Thus, after the home series against Zimbabwe, Mortaza’s place in the squad will depend upon his form and fitness.

Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Mortaza. (Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“We have started to stress on beep tests, so Mashrafe may not pass the beep tests, so we can drop him if he doesn’t pass it,” Hassan said.

“We also have to keep it in mind that Mashrafe’s leadership was vital in the turnaround in Bangladesh cricket. But, the time has come for him to decide how long he wants to play. 

“I think Mashrafe will play the ODI series against Zimbabwe, pending fitness. We will be lenient about his fitness. But very soon, we have to decide on the team and captain for the next World Cup. We don’t have much time. We will make our decision after this ODI series.”

Bangladesh’s new ODI captain will be selected within one month:

Hasan also informed that the new skipper for the ODI team will be decided after the series against Zimbabwe which will start from 1st March. It becomes pertinent here that Bangladesh board had set focus on the 2020 World Cup.

Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh Cricket Board
Image credit: Getty Images.

“When I spoke to him during the World Cup, we discussed that if we can arrange a home ODI, he will retire. After returning, he changed his mind. And then he also said that he doesn’t want a send-off. He never told me. I saw it in the media. We have taken a month or a month-and-a-half to decide our next ODI captain.”

As far as Mortaza’s retirement is concerned, Hasan added that it depends on the veteran when to call it a day.

Earlier this year in January, Mortaza had said that he will keep playing as long as he is enjoying the game.

Bangladesh, T20I squad
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Bangladesh Announces T20I Squad For Third And Fourth Match Of Tri-Series

Bangladesh included Mohammad Naim and Aminul Islam Biplob, the two uncapped players, in the 15-member T20I squad for the third and fourth match in ongoing tri-series. In the tri-series, Bangladesh has played two matches and has won one against Zimbabwe. Another one they lose against Afghanistan.

Bangladesh is struggling to find a combination of players with which they can beat Afghanistan players. So left-handed opener Mohammad Naim has been included. He has played 32 List A match and has shown better performance. So selectors are giving him a chance in T20I.

Read More: Ashes 2019: Joe Root Expresses That They Are Expecting Too Much From Jofra Archer

Next is the batting all-rounder Aminul Islam Biplob who has played 19 List A cricket and has replaced Soumya Sarkar from the team. The 19-year-old has little experience in domestic cricket but has impressed everyone in a short period. Selectors have included him in Bangladesh team.

“We picked Naim Shaikh as he is one of our future prospects. He is playing well for quite some time and we feel it is the right time to see how he handles the pressure of international cricket,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz

“Our coach wants a leg spinner badly so felt that we can have a look at Biplob as he had improved his leg-spin remarkably recently.”

Bangladesh, T20I squad
Bangladesh national cricket team (Image Credit: Google)

Rubel Hossain returns the Bangladesh T20I side

Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who has already played ODI and Tests for the team, is now looking for his T20I debut. Pacers Rubel Hossain and Shafiul Islam also make the returns in the T20 setup. Minhajul added that the head coach Rusell Domingo feels the need of fast bowler against Afghanistan.

Read More: Watch – Jonny Bairstow Produces MS Dhoni-Esque Stumping To Dismiss Marnus Labuschagne

Bangladesh in their last match against Afghanistan on Sunday (15th September) faced defeat in front of the bowlers. Afghanistan won the match by 25 runs. Next match of Bangladesh is on 18th September against Zimbabwe and on 21st September against Afghanistan.

Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (C), Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Liton Das, Afif Hossain, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mohammad Naim Shaikh, Aminul Islam, Najmul Hossain

Hamilton Masakadza
Hamilton Masakadza. AFP
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Hamilton Masakadza Set To Retire After T20I Series Against Bangladesh

Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza has decided to call it quits after the T20I tri-series involving Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It was a difficult decision for the veteran batsman but he has decided to hang his boots after the Zimbabwe Cricket suspension. Furthermore, Masakadza will also miss the opportunity to play in the T20 Qualifiers.

Read More: Ashes 2019: Craig Overton Replaces Chris Woakes For Old Trafford Test

The right-hander believes it is the right time to give opportunities to the young players but he still has hopes of staying close to the game. The talismanic batsman stated that his debut century against West Indies and the away series win against Bangladesh are some of the main highlights of his career.

Hamilton Masakadza Set To Retire After T20I Series Against Bangladesh 1
Twitter.

Masakadza has been a consistent performer for Zimbabwe.

Hamilton Masakadza featured in 38 Test matches for Zimbabwe in which he scored 2222 runs at an average of 30.03. He scored four centuries and eight fifties with the highest score of 158 runs in the multi-day format of the game.

On the other hand, the right-hander represented Zimbabwe in 209 One Day Internationals. He amassed 5658 runs at an average of 27.74. Masakadza scored five centuries and 30 fifties in the 50-overs version of the game with his best score being 178.

Hamilton Masakadza Set To Retire After T20I Series Against Bangladesh 2
Twitter

The right-hander had a decent career.

In the 61 T20Is, he gathered 1467 runs at an average of 24.86 with the help of nine half-centuries and the best performance of 93 runs.

Masakadza made his Test debut against the West Indies. He was able to hit the ground running as he scored a fine knock of 119 runs. The right-hander made his maiden appearance for Zimbabwe in ODI format against South Africa in 2001. Masakadza didn’t have a memorable ODI debut as he could only manage 11 runs. Moreover, Zimbabwe lost that match by 153 runs.

Read More: WI vs India 2019: Watch – Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah Silence Crowd After Animated Celebration

The tri-series between Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Zimbabwe is scheduled to take place from 13 September to 24 September. This would be Zimbabwe’s first assignment after their suspension.

Tatenda Taibu, Zimbabwe
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Zimbabwean Cricketer Tatenda Taibu Reveals his Ordeal

Former Zimbabwe skipper Tatenda Taibu has made some hard-hitting revelations in his autobiography, ’Keeper of Faith’. The prominent face of Zimbabwe cricket during his heydays had gone through a lot, which further saw him living his life in exile.

The 36-year-old former Zimbabwean has faced worst during his life before moving his base to the United Kingdom (UK). Currently, he is residing in Liverpool where he also trains youngsters. Taibu had played a crucial role in Zimbabwean cricket during his playing days before he flew to Bangladesh in between.

The Harare-born cricketer Taibu has been a poster boy for Zimbabwe, but it’s the politics which has not only ruined his cricketing career but eventually put his life at stake.

The right-handed batsman Taibu has featured Zimbabwe between 2001 and 2012. Known for his versatility, Taibu has also proved his credentials in the domestic fold. He has a wealth of experience on his back in a bid to help the aspiring cricketers.

Tatenda Taibu escapes, now lives in Liverpool:

Tatenda Taibu, Zimbabwe
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

While talking about his mental agony, Taibu, who’s a great belief in God, in his recent interviews during book promotion, revealed he did not look back.

So much so, Taibu on his book has an anecdote on the kidnapping attempt of his wife, Loveness Taibu.

While responding to question on death threats and living in exile, Taibu has called this experience as shocking while adding he wouldn’t want to wish such bad time upon anyone else.
He also maintained that he had endured a lot while knowing he had to live on despite facing major issues in his life.

“It is devastating. Very disappointing, but I knew that I had to continue with life. And to a great extent, I managed to do that. However, it’s probably the most difficult times I have ever had and I wouldn’t wish that for someone else,” Taibu told Sportskeeda.

Besides, Taibu also shed light on how her wife almost got kidnapped on the road. He also spoke about having a scary meeting with one of the ministers. Back then, he was made to unfold the envelope only to see the pictures of the dead.

“It’s probably the last thing (that happened), when my wife almost got kidnapped — that was quite scary. I had been shown pictures of dead people (during the meeting with one of the ministers). But it can’t be compared to when Loveness (wife) almost got kidnapped,” Taibu concluded.

Concurrently, Taibu is living his peaceful life after being forced to flee Zimbabwe back in 2005.

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IPL Schedule Puts Zimbabwe Series In Doubt

After a lot of speculations, the BCCI finally announced the starting date for this year’s Indian Premier League. With the World Cup set to start from May 30 in England, the India cricket board was under immense pressure to fix a date that could give the players the much-needed rest before they take part in the showpiece event in England. And after a lot of permutation and combination, the BCCI announced that the IPL will start on March 23.

The BCCI also announced that the tournament will be held in the country despite the upcoming general elections. The full schedule of the tournament is not out yet and is likely to be announced in early February.

But amidst all this, the announcement of IPL’s schedule has put Zimbabwe’s tour of India in March in doubt. There is now a serious chance of the tour getting restructured, postponed or even cancelled entirely. The schedule for the series is not announced yet but Zimbabwe was likely to visit India in March which looks highly unlikely now. The African country was set to play one Test and three One-Day Internationals against the hosts.

IPL Schedule Puts Zimbabwe Series In Doubt 3
Zimbabwe last toured India in 2002 (Credits: AFP)

India are currently involved in the three-match ODI series against Australia Down Under. After that, the Men in Blue will fly further south to take on New Zealand in five ODIs and three T20Is. The limited-overs tour of New Zealand will end on February 10. Following that, India will welcome Australia for two T20Is and five ODIs. Australia’s tour of India will start run from 24 February to 13 March. With this year’s IPL due to start on March 23, that leaves only 10 days to squeeze Zimbabwe in. Consequently, it looks unlikely that the series will take place ahead of the IPL.

According to ESPNcricinfo,  Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Givemore Makoni will meet with the BCCI officials to discuss the tour. He might propose the Indian board to restructure the tour and include only ODIs and T20Is. There is also a chance of the tour getting postponed.

IPL Schedule Puts Zimbabwe Series In Doubt 4
India are currently in Australia for the ongoing ODI series (Credits: AP)

The ODIs against Zimbabwe was seen as India’s last minute preparations for the World Cup. Zimbabwe, on the other hand, were bracing for their first bilateral series in India since 2002.

Meanwhile, England will take on South Africa in the opener on May 30, 2019, at The Oval in London. The tournament will last for 45 days with 48 matches to be played. India will start their campaign against the Proteas on June 5.  The format for the 2019 edition will see 10 best teams in the world going head-to-head in a round-robin format. The tournament will culminate with the fifth final at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 14.

 

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ICC Rankings: England And Zimbabwe Players Make Big Gains

England and Zimbabwe players have gained big in the latest ICC Rankings for Test players, released on Saturday.

Both England and Zimbabwe won their respective Tests. While Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh, England got the better of Sri Lanka. Keaton Jennings and Ben Foakes are the biggest gainers in the latest ICC Rankings after scoring centuries against Sri Lanka.

Jennings scored 46 and 146 in the game and jumped a staggering 41 places to take the 46th position. On the other hand, Foakes, who made his debut in the game, entered the rankings in 69th spot following his 107 and 37. The Surrey star also earned the Man of the Match award.

ICC Rankings: England And Zimbabwe Players Make Big Gains 5

In other England batsmen, Sam Curran and Ben Stokes also moved up. Curran jumped nine places to a career-high 35th position following his 48 in the first innings. On the other hand, while Stokes has moved up three places to 28th after scoring seven and 62.

In bowling, England’s spin duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid moved up. Ali, who picked up eight wickets in the match, jumped four places to take 27th spot. Rashid, on the other hand, jumped three places to 41st after his three-wicket haul.

From Sri Lanka, Dilruwan Perera made a huge gain. The spinner returned to the top-20 in 19th position after jumping five places following his figures of five for 75 and two for 94. Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner Rangana Herath has retired in eighth position after slipping one place. The left-armer picked up 3 wickets in the game to finish his illustrious career with 433 wickets.

From Zimbabwe, several players moved in the right direction of the ICC Rankings.

Hamilton Masakadza, who scored 52 and 48, jumped 12 placers to 34th position.  Sean Williams, who was declared Player of the Match for his 88 and 20, has risen 17 places to 77th position. A three-wicket haul helped Kyle Jarvis move to a career-high ranking of 60th.

ICC Rankings: England And Zimbabwe Players Make Big Gains 6

India skipper Virat Kohli, meanwhile, continues to lead the batsmen’s list while England’s James Anderson is at the top of bowlers’ list in ICC Rankings.

Fakhar Zaman
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Fakhar Zaman Becomes the Fastest Batsmen to Score 1000 ODI Runs

The swashbuckling opener from Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman on Sunday (July 22) has become the fastest batsmen to register 1,000 One-day International runs during the fifth and final match against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo.

Meanwhile, Zaman has been in brilliant touch in the ongoing series. Furthermore, he has registered scores of 60, 117*, 43* and 210*, and averages at staggering 430.

The explosive opener, Zaman started the fifth and final ODI with 980 runs in 17 innings under his belt. However, he got to the mark when he brought a sublime boundary on the bowling of Tendai Chatara to get from 17 to 21.

It eventually beat the record of 21 innings, held jointly by five batsmen.  Zaman’s countrymate Babar Azam was the last one to join the club.

With Zaman getting there in 18 innings it seems a tough task for others to sneak in.

Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman
Getty Images.

The 28-year-old batsman, Zaman made his ODI debut just over a year ago, in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. He made an immediate impact smashing 252 runs in just four innings, including a 106-ball 114 in the final against India in Lonon.

Eventually, Pakistan managed to lift the coveted title riding on his outstanding knock while thrashing their arch-rivals by 180 runs.

Since then, Fakhar Zaman hasn’t stopped piling on runs and breaking plethora of records. Overall, Zaman has three centuries and five half-centuries in the format.

Pakistan, meanwhile, went into the final game with a 4-0 lead. They will like to complete a clean sweep against a week Zimbabwe side.

Zimbabweans are missing six of their first-choice players either due to injuries or due to dispute with the board over salary delay.

Also read: India has strong bench strength in pace bowling: Dravid

Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Zimbabwe Vs Pakistan, 2018: 4th ODI, 1st Innings Match Report

For Pakistan, the left-handed opening pair, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq on Friday (July 20) have once again thumped Zimbabwe with their masterclass at Bulawayo, in the fourth One-day International of the five-match series.

Both are in terrific touch throughout the series and they once again unleashed on Zimbabwe’s inexperienced bowling attack by tumbling numerous records on their way.

Fakhar Zaman goes berserk, registers maiden double-hundred for Pakistan:

Pakistan
Credits: Getty

Initially, it was the visitors, Pakistan, who won the toss and asked the home side, Zimbabwe to roll their arms first.

Moreover, while justifying the toss, both the openers went berserk against the opposition. Aggressive-looking Zaman, in particular, has been sensational who knocked the ball like a dream.

Zaman, who recently received the Man of the Series award for his stunning display during the Twenty20 International Tri-series.

The southpaw carried his golden patch to register an all-time highest tally for Pakistan in ODI cricket. He registered a remarkable double-hundred to cross all-time highest tally of Saeed Anwar’s 194 for Pakistan.

Imam-ul-Haq registers his third ODI century:

Zimbabwe Vs Pakistan, 2018: 4th ODI, 1st Innings Match Report 7
Imam-ul-Haq. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Imam-ul-Haq, who returned to form in this series, has registered yet another century under his belt.

Zaman-Imam paired-up to register a mammoth 304-run partnership for the first wicket which is the highest by any opening pair in the history of ODI cricket.

The nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq registered his third ODI century before walking back to the pavilion. He registered a fine 113-run knock to his name. His patient innings included eight boundaries to his name. Though he started the thing cautiously, later, picked up his strokes to show his class.

Their massive record-breaking stand has come to an end when the left-arm spinner Wellington Masakadza delivered the wicket-taking delivery in the 42nd over of the game.

However, it paved a way for dangerous Asif Ali who joined in-form Fakhar Zaman to wreck havoc at Bulawayo. They both smashed Zimbabwe bowlers to all corners of the park – to help Pakistan register a massive  399 for one in 50 allotted overs.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan – 399/1  (Fakhar Zaman – 210*, Imam-ul-Haq – 113, Asif Ali – 50); W. Masakadza – 1/78

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