|Do we really need the experienced folk?|
|Friday, 15 June 2012 12:00|
Bangladesh arrived in the country on Wednesday evening and would have been surprised to be met by a group of enthusiastic journalists who have given the upcoming unofficial 2020 Twenty20 series a bit of hype.
But while the Tigers were well received, the local selectors sprung a surprise by announcing a virtually-full strength Zimbabwe side to play Bangladesh in a one-day warm up match at the Interfin High Performance Centre on Friday.
Players such as Brendan Taylor, Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza have been included in the side, which is being called a Select side.
This is a little bit puzzling as you would want your fringe players to have as much exposure to international cricket as possible.
Some of the younger players, who have hardly represented their franchises and yet have already been promoted to the A side, should have been playing today.
Players like Tendai Manatsa and Odacious Mbanje, who seems to have become hot property overnight, had been named in the A-side to play South Africa A and Sri Lanka A in a 50-over triangular series in July.
It is surprising that these players are already playing for the A-side.
Mbanje, in particular, doesn’t even have a franchise contract and yet has been rocketed in to the A-side ahead of seasoned players such as Mark Mbofana who, surely, need to be rewarded after good all-round performances over a period of time.
Granted, Mbanje scored two centuries in the Vigne Cup, which shows promise and potential, but you have to remember that established players such as Mbofana have played and performed against full-strength franchises while Mbanje doesn’t even have a first class run to his name.
But if these young players have been selected, then they need to play so that they can prove that their selection is fully justified.
So even though one’s first instinct is to bring out the stats and question the inclusion of certain players, it becomes equally frustrating when players with promise and potential are picked but then see experienced players replacing them in a Select XI.
In years gone by, players representing a Select XI were ones who were on the fringe of playing international cricket.
Has the game changed that much?