The Sunday Mail
ZIMBABWE Cricket coach Lalchand Rajput is hoping his charges will be fully fit for their tour to Sri Lanka next week.
The tour is part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, and will see the two teams square
off in three One-Day Internationals (ODI) slated for January 16-21 at Palleke International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.
With only a week left before the Chevrons take on Sri-Lanka, Rajput has expressed concerned over his charges’ lack of fitness after having returned from the holiday break.
“It was obvious that the Christmas break would have a toll on the players,” said the Chevrons gaffer.
“This has affected our preparations because most of the players returned from the holiday a bit rusty.
“We have been doing our best to ensure that the players are match fit for the games.
“Ideally, it would have been better to have a week’s camp before going on tour, but we are restricted by time”.
Rajput has since been forced to rely on the four practice matches that were played between the Northerns and Southerns select sides last week.
“Match practice is always the best, and I am happy that the country’s top 28 players played the four One-Day matches.
“This gave the 15-players that are going to Sri Lanka some much-needed game time,” said Rajput.
Zimbabwe Cricket has since named their 15-men squad for the tour, with the major talking points seeing Craig Ervine retained as skipper while all-rounder Tino Mutombodzi makes a return to the limited overs team.
The duo of Takudzwanashe Kaitano and wicketkeeper Clive Madande are the two uncapped players that made the cut.
Rajput will be hoping for better fortunes as he seeks to revive the country’s campaign for an automatic place at the 2023 World Cup.
Zimbabwe currently anchors the Super League table with two wins from nine games, while Sri Lanka are sixth in the 13-team league.
ZIMBABWE SQUAD FOR SRI LANKA TOUR 2022:
Craig Ervine (captain), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, Clive Madande, Wesley Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Sean Williams