BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
ZIMBABWE captain Sean Williams is thrilled to be back in the national team fold ahead of the upcoming Ireland tour after enduring a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury and subsequent Covid-19 related issues.
It’s been a frustrating three months for Williams, who missed the bulk of the series against Pakistan at home due to an injury before Covid-19 bowled him out of the recent multi format home series against Bangladesh.
In fact, the 34-year-old batting allrounder has not featured for Zimbabwe in a One Day International (ODI) match since scoring a magnificent century, which inspired his charges to a famous super over win against Pakistan in Rawalpindi over eight months ago.
Ironically, the win against Pakistan in November last year remains the Chevrons’ only success thus far in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League as they have gone on to lose six ODI matches on the spin in the absence of their inspirational skipper.
Williams’ long absence is finally set to come to an end as he is part of the Chevrons squad, which is preparing for the tour of Ireland and he is buzzing to get back to serious business.
“It’s amazing to be back with the team and training again,” Williams told Standardsport in an interview yesterday.
“Missing the Bangladesh series was tough as I had missed the Pakistan tour before that, as captain it’s never good to not be there, but we were lucky enough to have the experience of Brendan (Taylor) and (Sikandar) Raza take over the captaincy,” he said.
Williams also opened up on his recent spell on the sidelines due Covid-19.
“Covid-19 is always tough to deal with if you have it or not as the quarantine time is tough, but im glad it’s all behind me and im happy to be back.”
Williams is part of a squad of 15 players that will travel to Ireland on Thursday ahead of the five match T20I and three-match ODI series against the hosts.
The tour of Ireland will commence on August 27 starting off with the T20I series. The first two matches will take place at Clontarf on August 27 and 29 while the last three matches will take place at Bready on September1,2 and 4.
The three ODIs will be hosted by Stormont on September 8, 12 and 13, with the matches being part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.
The return of Williams and batsman Craig Ervine will be a big boost to Zimbabwe who will be looking to win particularly the ODIs that carry points towards the World Cup qualifiers.
Zimbabwe were whitewashed by Bangladesh on home soil in their last series and failed to put any points on the board, which hampered their chances of making it as automatic qualifiers to the 2023 global showpiece in India.
They only have 10 points on their tally after playing six matches and they will be hoping for a clean sweep in Ireland for them to get their campaign on track.
Zimbabwe squad: Sean Williams (captain), Craig Ervine, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva, Wessley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Tarisai Musakanda, Dion Myers, Milton Shumba, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, and Donald Tiripano.