ZIMBABWE cricket coach Heath Streak believes his players need more time on the crease after naming a strong squad in the Zimbabwe Select side for the unofficial One Day Series against Netherlands next week.
The three matches, to be played at Harare Sports Club next Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, are part of the preparations for the impending Test series against the West Indies next month.
Brendan Taylor has been excluded because he has played a lot of cricket of late and was not part of the plans, for the Netherlands matches, which were concluded while negotiations were on-going for him to sign a contract.
The batsman has committed the next four years of his career to his country and that has had a massive boost on the gamein this country.
The Chevrons have been inactive since July when they last toured Sri Lanka while West Indies, who are currently on tour of England have been busy throughout the year.
Streak has always maintained that Zimbabwe needed game time to improve their competitiveness.
As a result, the Zimbabwe selectors retained the entire squad that toured the Netherlands in June this year – and prevailed 2-1 – with Regis Chakabva being the only addition to the side named for the reciprocal series in Harare.
National team skipper Graeme Cremer will lead the side that have familiar faces such as Sean Williams, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Chamu Chibhabha, Solomon Mire, Sikandar Raza and PJ Moor.
Although the series against Netherlands will not be recognised as an official one-day international series (ODI) because the tourists do not have ODI status, Zimbabwe head coach Streak said the value of the 50-over matches against the Dutch could not be underestimated.
“It’s not an official ODI series, but we will not take the Dutch lightly. We will try to win every game, but what’s important is that we will give our guys time in the middle ahead of tougher assignments,” he said.
“These are 50-over matches, but they will give us good practice as we are gearing our preparations towards the Test series at home to the West Indies next month,” said Streak
Zimbabwe select squad for Netherlands series
Graeme Cremer (Captain), Regis Chakabva (Wicketkeeper), Peter Moor (Wicketkeeper), Solomon Mire, Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Christopher Mpofu, Richard Ngarava, Tarisai Musakanda, Ryan Burl, Malcolm Waller, Tendai Chatara