Former captains Brendon Taylor and Graeme Cremer will not take part in next month’s T20 international tri-series against Australia and Pakistan after they were left out of Zimbabwe’s training squad announced overnight.
Along with veterans Sean Williams, Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza – who is set to play in the concurrent Global T20 tournament in Canada against suspended Australians Steve Smith and David Warner – Taylor and Cremer were not included in Zimbabwe’s 22-man training squad for the triangular series.
It means Zimbabwe will be without five of their best players for the round-robin tournament that starts on July 1, with all matches to be played at Harare Sports Club.
Elton Chigumbura, veteran of more than 250 internationals, was selected having last represented Zimbabwe in November 2016.
The 32-year-old has scored two one-day international centuries and is a welcome boost to a squad lacking international experience.
Zimbabwe need as much firepower has they can get their hands on coming up against the world’s top-ranked T20 outfits.
Pakistan sit atop the official men’s T20 international rankings on 131 rating points, with Australia in second on 126 after their flawless tri-series win over England and New Zealand in February.
However, an ongoing pay dispute between Zimbabwe Cricket and their players saw the players threaten to boycott the tri-series.
An ESPN report revealed Zimbabwe players are still waiting for match fees from last July’s tour of Sri Lanka along with three months’ salary.
Cricket Australia is confident the tour will go ahead in what will be Australia’s first visit to the African nation since dictator Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign ended last year.
Zimbabwe training squad: Cephas Zhuwao, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Tarisai Musakanda, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Elton Chigumbura, Malcolm Waller, Brian Chari, Peter Moor, Donald Tiripano, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Ryan Murray, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu, Prince Masvaure, John Nyumbu, Ryan Burl, Brandon Mavuta, Rugare Magarira
Australia T20I squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth
Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Monday, July 2: Pakistan vs Australia
Tuesday, July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Wednesday, July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Thursday, July 5: Pakistan vs Australia
Friday, July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 8: Final