Zim Cricket Team Goes Into Camp For New Zealand Tour

The tour runs from the January 17 to February 14 and comprises a four day warm-up match against the New Zealand XI, a one-off Test match, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 international matches.

This will be the last international commitment for the national team in the 2010-11 season calendar.

The national selectors have announced a training squad of 20 players which included right-arm fast bowler Christopher Mpofu.

Mpofu, however, has now been ruled out of the tour due to a lower back injury. Mpofu was pulled out of the domestic Stanbic Bank Twenty20 series in November by his Matabeleland Tuskers’ franchise team management when he started to complain about lower back pain.

National team physiotherapist Amato Machikicho confirmed that despite all rehabilitation measures, Mpofu is still not fully fit for the tour.

The national selectors have now called Tendai Chatara of Mountaineers to replace Mpofu in the squad.

Head coach Alan Butcher is expecting a highly competitive team performance after some very aggressive and brave performances in Zimbabwe’s last Test match against New Zealand in Bulawayo in 2011.

“I hope our performance in the last Test will give us the belief that we can beat New Zealand, and not feel like we are massively underdogs. We will be underdogs, yes, but we will not be inferior to our opponents. Not having Chris Mpofu is quite a blow – he has been consistent in the last couple of months. We have Brian Vitori back and look to compete at a level footing so are not a depleted side at all,” said Butcher.

The Squad

Brendan Taylor; Regis Chakabva; Tendai Chatara; Chamunorwa Chibhabha; Elton Chigumbura; Graeme Cremer; Kyle Jarvis; Hamilton Masakadza; Shingirai Masakadza; Stuart Matsikenyeri; Tinotenda Mawoyo; Keegan Meth; Forster Mutizwa; Njabulo Ncube; Raymond Price; Vusimuzi Sibanda; Tatenda Taibu; Prosper Utseya; Brian Vitori; and Malcolm Waller.