Weakened Zimbabwe reveals side for England tour

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2003, 17:30 [IST]
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Harare: Without the services of four key players Zimbabwe revealed a weakened squad on Tuesday for its ten-week tour of England beginning on May 3. The question of whether the team could provide a serious challenge for England and South Africa was raised as the squad prepares to leave Harare for London on April 30. The list of 20 does not include two top batsmen, the country's most experienced all- rounder and one of its three main strike bowlers. Missing are Zimbabwe's world-rated batsman Andy Flower, who quit to play for Essex and South Australia after being hounded out the country together with his family. In the opening match of World Cup, Flower and teammate Henry Olonga issued a statement condemning President Robert Mugabe's government and wore black armbands to mourn "the death of democracy". Fast bowler Olonga retired from international cricket afterwards and said he could not return to Zimbabwe because he feared for his safety. He is at a safe house in South Africa, awaiting permission to live in England after being threatened with a treason charge if he returns home. Opening left-hand batsman Alastair Campbell, who has the third best One-day batting average for Zimbabwe, remains out of favour after criticising selection policy. He will now take up a radio commentary job and probably play league cricket in England. And Guy Whittall, holder of a Test double-century and effective medium pacer, has retired early at 34 years old. Zimbabwe is obliged to bring in several inexperienced players and one debutant, quick bowler Vusimuzi Sibanda. Zimbabwe will arrive in Britain on April 30 for a two-Test tour at Lord's and Durham and the One-day series against England and South Africa. The fixture list includes four-day matches against British Universities, Worcestershire, Sussex and Middlesex, two One-day matches in Northern Ireland, three One-day matches against Somerset, Hampshire and Essex - when Andy Flower will probably be among the opposition - and a triangular against England and South Africa, before returning home in mid-July. The Test squad: Heath Streak (captain), Tatenda Taibu (vice-captain at 19 years old), Grant Flower, Dion Ebrahim, Mark Vermeulen, Barney Rogers, Sean Ervine, Andy Blignaut, Mluleki Nkala, Stuart Carlisle, Ray Price, Travis Friend, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Douglas Hondo, Douglas Marillier. Additional players for the One-day matches: Gary Brent, Waddington Mwayenga, Stuart Matsikenyere, Charles Coventry, Richard Sims. Mohammad Meman (manager), Geoff Marsh of Australia (coach). Copyright AFP 2001

Zimbabwe's England tour still on the hold

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