HARARE – After the thrashing in the historical four-day, pink-ball Test against South Africa in South Africa, Zimbabwe will once again switch to ODI mode when they depart for Bangladesh for a crucial triangular series which also features Sri Lanka.
The series is crucial for Zimbabwe as they prepare for what could arguably be the most important tournament in their playing careers when they host the 2019 Cricket World Cup qualifying matches in March, and positive results in the upcoming tri-series will hopefully restore some confidence after the series loss against the West Indies late last year, and the mauling at the hands of the Proteas in December.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) have once again, however, shown their true colours of deceit and inconsistency by first of all delaying the naming of the squad to depart for Bangladesh on Tuesday.
Although the secrecy is a trifle annoying, it is the actual handling of certain matters that have once again raised eyebrows, and asks questions as to the selection criteria.
ZC have never been known for their social media skills, an odd and random tweet now and then is pretty much the order of the day, so it may surprise them to know that despite their best efforts to delay the naming of the squad, news has leaked that Ryan Burl has been omitted from the travelling party, while the talented but inexperienced Ryan Murray has been added to the squad.
Zimbabwe’s Under-19 coach Stephen Mangongo has spoken highly of young Murray on several occasions, and if treated properly, we will more than likely see his name featuring prominently in the runs column.
But he has played less than a handful of list A games, and is therefore surely nowhere near ready to face an exceptionally good Bangladeshi bowling attack in their home conditions.
One can only presume that Murray’s selection is based on his wicketkeeping abilities, which have also been rated very highly by coaches and pundits.
If ZC feel that there is merit in picking such an inexperienced player, they should also have given Ryan Burl another chance, and done away with Malcolm Waller who has been out of sorts for a long time.
Burl’s inclusion as a left-handed batsman would have given Zimbabwe’s middle order more flexibility, and would have comfortably replaced Sean Williams, and partnered Craig Ervine, who also finds himself on thin ice after a string of poor performances of late.
Many of the fans are of the opinion that neither the players, nor ZC seem particularly fazed or concerned after their dismal showing against the Proteas, and feel that a public apology to the fans is in order.
The general feeling amongst the public is that ZC have no scruples, their general disdain they show towards the public by not responding and communicating with them, as well as their haphazard selection policy are clear indications of not really showing an interest nor concern of the wellbeing of the players or the state of the game itself.