zim cricket team.jpgVusimuzi Sibanda has paid dearly for his decision to decline a contract offer with Mid-West Rhinos after he was omitted from the Zimbabwe cricket team that is set to tour New Zealand.

Zimbabwe’s top order batsman, Vusimuzi Sibanda has been excluded from Zimbabwe’s side which is set to tour New Zealand in a move emanating from his decision to decline a contract offer from a local franchise.

According to a media release by Zimbabwe cricket, Sibanda was omitted from the selection committee’s 16-man squad due to a Zimbabwe cricket’s policy which states that a player has to be contracted to play domestic cricket in order for them to be considered for national team selection.

Zimbabwe cricket’s media release adds that the eligibility policy provides for exceptions in the case of once-off tournaments abroad in which case a no-objection certificate is issued, such as the one given to Zimbabwe captain, Brendan Taylor, who is currently in New Zealand where he was turning out for Wellington.

With the omission of Sibanda, Zimbabwe’s top-order will however be made up of Brendan Taylor, Regis Chakabva, Tatenda Taibu, Hamilton Masakadza, Foster Mutizwa and Tinotenda Mawoyo, with Staurt Matsikeneyeri making a welcome return after exhibiting some impressive batting for his franchise club, Mashonaland Eagles.

On the bowling front, Tendai Chatara who was brought in as a replacement for Christopher Mpofu has been axed alongside Matabeleland Tuskers medium paceman, Njabulo Ncube.

Brian Vitori, Keegan Meth, Kyle Jarvis, Graeme Cremer, Raymond Price and Prosper Utseya are expected to do the business with the ball alongside all-rounders Elton Chigumbura, Malcolm Waller and Shingirai Masakadza.

Meanwhile, analysts have urged the Zimbabwe Under 19 cricket team which is on tour in South Africa to learn as much as they can during the Tri-Nations tournament involving Pakistan and the hosts ahead of the World Cup in Australia this August.

Analysts believe the young Zimbabwean team will bounce back as they currently lack first class playing experience.

Only two players in the Zimbabwe Under 19 team have first class domestic cricket playing experience, while the rest are high school cricketers getting international exposure on the tour. 

The Zimbabwe Under 19 cricket has so far lost both of their matches, going down to South Africa by nine wickets, before suffering a 129-run defeat to Pakistan.

Playing for the national Under 19 team is the first step in every Zimbabwean player’s path to the senior national team. The majority of the current national team took the same path.

Zimbabwe will take part in the Under 19 cricket World Cup which will be hosted by Australia in August this year.