Taylor, Williams back in Zimbabwe squad; Raza not picked

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Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams have been included in Zimbabwe’s squads to tour South Africa and Bangladesh, ending a self-imposed hiatus. The trio had opted out of the T20 tri-series at home, which included Australia and Pakistan, and the subsequent five-match ODI series against Pakistan in June-July because of unpaid salaries.
Since then, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has been put on an ICC-structured funding plan, has restructured its debt and cut expenses, including staff contracts. Players were paid and three of the five players who had boycotted the previous fixtures were back in the fold. The other two, though, were yet to return. Graeme Cremer was not considered as he recovers from knee surgery while Sikandar Raza was not picked after his central contract was not renewed following a dispute with ZC. Raza, however, remained available for selection.
Allrounder Solomon Mire and fast bowler Kyle Jarvis, who had recovered from gluteal tear and hand injury respectively, found places in the squads. Hamilton Masakadza, meanwhile, retained captaincy across all formats.
Zimbabwe will play three ODIs and three T20Is in South Africa, followed by three ODIs and two Tests in Bangladesh. Offspinner Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and 20-year old wicketkeeper-batsman Ryan Murray were only included for the ODIs against South Africa. They will be replaced by the more experienced John Nyumbu and Tarisai Musakanda in Bangladesh. Opening batsman Cephas Zhuwao will also join the group for the ODI series in Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe will have five changes between their ODI and T20I squads in South Africa. Ervine, Kamunhukamwe, Tiripano, Murray and Richard Ngarava who are in the ODI squad, will sit out of the T20Is, making way for Musakanda, Chamu Chibhabha, Christopher Mpofu, Chisoro and Neville Madziva. Mpofu and Chibhabha were only considered for the T20Is in South Africa and will not travel to Bangladesh.
Legspinner Brandon Mavuta, who played one T20I for Zimbabwe in the recent tri-series, was named in the all four squads. Left-arm seamer Ngarava, who has played eight ODIs, is in line for a Test debut.
The twin series in South Africa and Bangladesh are coach Lalchand Rajput’s first since he was appointed in permanent capacity in late August, and first since ZC’s financial restructure. He is the only coach currently contracted to ZC, with details of his assistants yet to be released. ZC is slowly starting to set up staff contracts and has also advertised for franchise general managers for the four domestic teams, with the home season set to start in November.

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