ZIMBABWE Under-19 cricket team coach Stephen Mangongo has cast his selection net far and wide in search of the best talent for next year’s International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup to be staged in New Zealand.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Mangongo last week named a 24-member provisional squad, which, as largely expected, is dominated by the crème de la crème of local schoolboy cricket. The team is stepping up preparations for the youth global showcase scheduled for January 13 to February 3 2018.
And, in a surprising yet welcome development, the former Zimbabwe national senior team coach has included six players who are plying their trade beyond the country’s borders.
Headlining the foreign-based players in the squad is England-based Donald Mlambo, who has been in brilliant form for the Suffolk based Cricket Club, Copdock & Old Ipswichian.
Copdock play their trade in the East Anglian Premier League in the UK.
Mangongo also included four players who are plying their trade at some of the leading private and public schools in South Africa.
Three of the players ply their trade in Durban.
They are Alistair Frost (Hilton College), Tinashe Nenhunzi (Durban High School, SA), Marshall Takodza (Glenwood High School, SA) and Taun Harrison who is one of the leading players at the Cape Town-based South African College School.
Former Churchill High School young prodigy Wesley Madhevere, who is now at St Charles, is also well-poised to make his second World Cup appearance in New Zealand after a memorable debut last year when he was just 15 years old.
While the foreign-based players are expected to bring a new dimension to the World Cup-bound youth team, it is the local schools’ cricket talent which forms the backbone of the strong squad.
In-form skipper Liam Roche, a student at St George’s College, leads the cast of local young stars.
The others include Churchill’s Milton Shumba and Prince Edward’s pace bowler Dion Mazhawidza, as well as the Peterhouse duo of Robert Chiminya and Tawanda Muyeye, among others.
St John’s College star Jayden Schadendorf, a pace bowling all-rounder who also bats up the order, is also one of the players to watch in the talented squad which also features his 14-year-old younger brother Dane.
At the 2018 World Cup, Zimbabwe U19 will battle it out in Group B alongside India, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Last month Zimbabwe toured Australia and India and will round up their preparations for the World Cup with a series against Western Province Academy in Cape Town next month.
The Zimbabwe provisional squad is expected to train twice a week until the final 15 players are selected.
Zimbabwe U19 World Cup Provisional Squad:
Liam Roche (Captain, St George’s College), Wesley Madhevere (St Charles, SA), Greg Dollar (St Joh’s College), Milton Shumba (Churchill), Jayden Schadendorff (St John’s College), Tanunurwa Makoni (Prince Edward), Donald Mlambo (Copdock & Old Ipswichian Cricket Club, UK), Alistair Frost (Hilton College, SA), Taun Harrison (South African College High School),
Dion Myers (St George’s College), Nkosilatu Nunu, Jonathan Connolly (Falcon College), Privilege Chesa (Churchill), Tawanda Muyeye (Peterhouse), Kieran Robinson (St George’s College), Makdhum Talati (Prince Edward), Dion Mazhawidza (Prince Edward),
Tinotenda Jakachira (Eaglesvale), Dane Schadendorff (St John’s College), Tinashe Nenhunzi (Durban High School, SA), Marshall Takodza (Glenwood High School, SA), Arnold Shara (Milton), Robert Chimhinya (Peterhouse), Struan Moore-Gordon (Peterhouse).