ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has confirmed the national side’s participation in the four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Canada next month as replacement for the West Indies whose request for a postponement was turned down.
The tournament, scheduled from October 10-13 at the Maple Leaf Ground in Toronto, will now feature Zimbabwe alongside Pakistan, Sri Lanka and hosts Canada.
It was not clear if the Zimbabweans would accept the invitation as the Canada tournament will only end a day before their scheduled arrival in Kenya for a tri-series involving the hosts and Ireland, but this week ZC Cricket Affairs general manager Trevor Mutangadura confirmed that the Zimbabweans will play in both tournaments.
“We can confirm that we have been invited to the Twenty20 tournament in Canada and that we will definitely take part,” Mutangadura said.
“We are originally scheduled to arrive in Kenya on October 14 and that has not changed. It means the team will now have to connect to Nairobi directly from Canada.”
Zimbabwe’s selectors convener Kenyon Ziehl said his panel will use the same team for the two tournaments.
“The team will fly to Kenya from Canada,” Ziehl said.
“So you can’t really have your Twenty20 specialists in the squad, so it will be pretty much your one-day side.”
Ziehl said the Canada tournament will be used as preparation for the tri-series in Kenya.
“Its very good preparation although it’s a Twenty20 tournament. We will be playing international sides and that’s what we needed before Kenya,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik says he and his team will not underestimate either Zimbabwe or the host nation.
“I don’t think they are weak teams,” he said. “Any team can deliver on any given day in this version of the game. We saw that happen in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in SA last year.”
By Enock Muchinjo