Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ALL-ROUNDER Sikandar Raza met Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani on Sunday as part of efforts for the two parties to find common ground.
Raza was left out of the group of players who were given central contracts by ZC after he went to play in Canada without the blessings of the game’s leadership.
The issue has sparked an outcry among some fans who want to see the cricketer, who was the star of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, back in the team.
On Sunday, Raza announced he had met Mukuhlani. “Travelling back to Harare, I met with the chairman of ZC to discuss the best way forward,’’ he tweeted.
“I can happily say a lot of good things came out of the meeting and I am confident that this matter will be resolved sooner rather than later.
“Thank you all for prayers & support.’’
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Select coach Shepherd Makunura says the Africa Cup T20 tournament which takes place in South Africa this week is a platform for fringe players to fight for their places in the national team ahead of two important tours this year.
The Select side, which has a host of national team hopefuls like Cephas Zhuwao, Ryan Murray, Richard Ngarava, Brian Chari, Richmond Mutumbami and skipper Tarisai Musakanda, is expected to leave for South Africa tomorrow morning for the tournament.
The event will run for 10 days starting this Friday.
The Zimbabwe Select has been placed in Pool B and will face Western Districts, Free State, Gauteng and Northerns.
The tournament will warm the stage for the Chevrons’ upcoming tour of South Africa where they are scheduled to engage the Proteas in three One Day Internationals and three T20I later this month before proceeding to Bangladesh next month.
Makunura yesterday said, apart from the development initiative, the Africa Cup T20 has opened the doors for outstanding performers in his Select squad to be considered for senior national team duties.
“Actually, this is a very good tournament. The South Africa provincial sides are quite strong so we expect some good competition.
“It means a lot in terms of our development and also for the players themselves. Some of them have been pushing for places in the national team and this is a grand opportunity to prove themselves especially with some important tours coming up this year,” said Makunura.
Top order batsman Musakanda, who gave a decent show on his debut last year, has been named captain of the Select side ahead of some experienced players like Timycen Maruma, who is angling for a return to international cricket.
Maruma, Neville Madziva, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Chari and Rugare Magarira took part in the 2017 competition and they will seek to make their experience count in this year’s edition.
The competition has been expanded to 20 teams and will take place in the four coastal venues of Oudtshoorn, East London, Pietermaritzburg and Paarl.
Nigeria and Uganda will make their debut appearance in the competition, joining Zimbabwe Select, Namibia, Kenya and 15 CSA affiliate sides.
“I am sure we have prepared very well for this tournament.
“Most of the guys were in the national team that took part in the recent home series, so we just took it up from there.
“I think the boys are looking sharp and in terms of fitness they are in great shape,’’ said Majunura.
Tarisai Musakanda (captain), Ryan Murray (vice-captain), Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Timycen Maruma, Cephas Zhuwao, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Neville Madziva, Mohammad Faraz Akram, Rugare Magarira, Richmond Mutumbami (wicketkeeper), Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Brian Chari.