The visiting Kenyan cricket team who have experienced mixed results say their tour of Zimbabwe has been an eye-opener and helpful in their preparations for the Africa T20 qualifiers scheduled for Namibia later this year.
The tournament involving Kenya gave Zimbabwe’s recently appointed interim head coach, Lalchand Rajput, his first look at some of the players who will be at his disposal for the T20 International triangular series with Australia and Pakistan.
Kenya faced the Zimbabwe Select and Board XI teams in the triangular series at Old Hararians and Takashinga in the capital.
Kenyan coach Maurice Odhumbe expressed satisfaction with the level of competition adding that the tournament had given his side an opportunity to prepare for the forthcoming African Nations qualifiers set for Namibia in October.
“Happy to be here and for the opportunity to be in Zimbabwe despite its problems, it has very good sides. We are preparing for the African qualifiers set for later in the year in Namibia. Good to give expsoure and experience to our players,” said Odhumbe.
The Zimbabwe Select side has been playing under coach Douglas Hondo and Harare Metropolitan Eagles coach Stanley Timoni, as his assistant and team manager.
The Board XI team was coached by Mountaineers coach Shepherd Makunura with Eric Chauluka assisting him and also doubling as the team manager.
Anesu Mupotaringa and Stanley Chioza have been engaged as physiotherapist and analyst respectively.
The Zimbabwe sides were basically a training squad which will eventually, be trimmed before the final squad for the T20i series is announced according to Walter Chawaguta, the convenor of national selectors.
The tournament involving Kenya effectively allowed the new coach an opportunity to get a glimpse of the players in action.
Some of the players vying for places in Zimbabwe’s final squad were not available to face Kenya as they are either recovering from injury or committed overseas, but they are expected to be back in time for the T20i series.
Zimbabwean players have given Zimbabwe Cricket an ultimatum of June 25 to pay them all outstanding dues.
The players who are mulling a boycott of the tri-series have engaged their lawyers to ensure they get paid following past unfulfilled promises.