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Cricket return delights Williams

BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

ZIMBABWE Test cricket captain Sean Williams is delighted to be playing cricket again two weeks after the national team resumed training following a lengthy Covid-19 pandemic-enforced interruption.

Cricket, classified as a low-risk sport, was given the green light to resume activities late last month by the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ministry.

The national team began training a fortnight ago under strict safety conditions after all staff and players tested negative for Covid-19, but only began skills training this past week.

“It’s awesome to be back playing cricket again and we only just started skills training — that is, batting, bowling and fielding. It’s so much fun although we have to observe the social distancing regulations all the time,” Williams told Standardsport on Friday.

“It was extremely difficult not being able to play cricket and having the home series against Ireland cancelled. And now even the series against Afghanistan is in jeopardy which is hard for us, but it’s good that we can at least practise as a team,” he said.

Apart from the Afghanistan series which hangs in the balance, Zimbabwe has already lost another encounter against India tentatively scheduled for August.

However, hopes are high that the tour of Australia set for August 9 – 15 will go ahead as scheduled.

“We cannot wait to start playing competitively regardless of who we are playing. Cricket stopped when we had uncovered a number of talented players such as Wesley Madhevere, Charlton Tshuma and Kevin Kasuza, among others, who have to be seen on the international stage. All these upcoming players will be key for us in future,” Williams said.

Williams missed part of Zimbabwe’s last full series in Bangladesh in February and March awaiting the birth of his daughter Charlotte Louise, now four months old.

In hindsight, Williams is happy that the lockdown gave him the opportunity to spend more time with his wife Chantelle and his daughter.

“The biggest positive I can draw from the lockdown is that I got to spend time with my family. Watching my child grow and spending time with her every day has been priceless for me.

“It was also good to spend time with yourself away from the game because you get reflect on a lot of things that you can do better. A break from cricket is also good for professionals, but this was too long which can be frustrating at times,” Williams said.

Williams is part of a group of players based in Bulawayo together with Brian Chari, Christopher Mpofu, Ainsley Ndlovu, and Charlton Tshuma who have been training under the watch of provincial coach Njabulo Ncube at Queens Sports Club.

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