THE Zimbabwe A cricket side will be looking to complete a series whitewash when they host high-flying associate nation, Afghanistan for two warm up 50 over matches as well as two four-day matches later this month and early August.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Coached by Kabir Khan, Afghanistan have been on a remarkable journey from nowhere on the cricket map to qualifying for the World Cup 2015, and are headed for Zimbabwe where they will play four ODIs against the national team, winding up with the four-day games against the Zimbabwe A side.
Speaking to Standardsport, Zimbabwe A coach Walter Chawaguta declared that they will be gunning for nothing short of victory against the Asian visitors.
“We definitely want to win all our games against them [Afghanistan], we are well aware they are an associate member but they have proven themselves over the years so we are going to treat them with respect,” he said.
“Zimbabwe A, we are a development side, with players who want to be seen and get picked for the national team, everybody will be looking to put in good individual performances and win the matches for the team and probably make the team for the tri-nation series against Australia and South Africa,” added Chawaguta.
Regis Chakava will captain the Zimbabwe A side that has players such as the returning Mark Vermulen, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Raymond Mutumbami, Malcom Waller, youngsters Luke Jongwe and Joylord Gumbie among other fringe national team players.
However, more senior team players could feature in the warm up matches to earn some game time.
Zimbabwe A played two warm up matches last week against the national team as the two teams train combined to sharpen for Afghanistan and will play one more this Tuesday.
Khan’s men are no pushovers as they have already stunned Bangaldesh, a Test playing nation in the Asia Cup early this year in a ODI encounter and will be motivated to their collection of big scalps.
The Asian side are no strangers in the country; they famously drew with the Zimbabwe XI side in August 2009 in an Intercontinental test duel played at Mutare Sports Club.
The hosts had Tatenda Taibu’s starring role to thank as his two centuries saved Zimbabwe from the jaws of a humiliating defeat.
Afghanistan are expected in the country on Thursday.
Zimbabwe A Squad:
Regis Chakabva (Captain), Brian Chari, Michael Chinouya, Joylord Gumbie, Luke Jongwe, Raymond Kaia, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Neville Madziva, Lovemore Gumunyu-Manatsa, Bright Mugochi, Forster Mutizwa, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Richmond Mutumbami and John Nyumbu.