HARARE – Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor says the omission of West Indies captain Darren Sammy and all-rounder Chris Gayle from the hosts’ ODI squad will not necessarily weaken the hosts.
Taylor flew out to the Caribbean yesterday days after returning home from the Bangladesh Premier League for a mandatory fitness test in Harare.
The 27-year-old skipper however failed the test, conducted by national fitness trainer Lorraine Chivandire on Tuesday. ZC, however, gave Taylor the go ahead to tour.
Regular West Indies captain Sammy was rested for the ODI series while big-hitting batsman Gayle has been allowed to take leave for the three one-dayers.
“Obviously it’s a massive boost for us but when a team affords to rest two of their big players ahead of such an important tour speaks volume of their depth,” Taylor told the Daily News before departing for the Caribbean.
“They are still a good side and playing in conditions they know pretty well means that it’s still gonna be a tough tour for us.”
Taylor also called on his teammates to give coach Alan Butcher a befitting farewell on the tour. The former England international, in charge of Zimbabwe since 2010, will leave his post at the end of the tour, where Zimbabwe will play three ODIs, two Twenty20s and two Tests.
“I think the guys have played well and the preparations have been good, we just need to put our act together and be at our very best,” he added.
“If we can win a few matches, or one of the series, it will be a good send off for Alan Butcher, he’s put in a lot of hard work in the last three years and I’m sure if we can do that he’ll be the happiest man when he returns to England.”
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Narsingh Deonarine, Sunil Narine, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieron Pollard, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (captain), Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Tino Mawoyo, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Regis Chakabva, Malcolm Waller, Keegan Meth, Craig Ervine, Chamu Chibhabha, Tino Mutombodzi, Natsai Mushangwe.