Butcher on first ZC assignment

andy_blignautThe national cricket team flies out today for the Caribbean to tour West Indies in preparation for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup set to explode into life month end. (Pictured: Andy Blignaut)

Zimbabwe will play West Indies A in a four-day and two T20 matches for the first time under the watchful eye of new head coach, Alan Butcher, in Guyana. Butcher, who was appointed the ZC head coach to take over from Walter Chawaguta, began his duty on April 1 and will use the Windies tour to familiarise himself with the players performance on the field. The former English international last week said his sole goal during the tour to the West Indies will be to get a better understanding of the team and what they need.

He will be assisted by Mountaineers mentor, Stephen Mangongo, who also has international experience with the national team. Heath Streak remains the specialist bowling coach to be joined later this year by Grant Flower who was appointed the batting coach. The squad will travel without experienced Stuart Matsikenyeri, Kyle Jarvis and young Shingi Masakadza who have been replaced by all-rounder Andy Blignaut, Craig Ervine and Southern Rocks opener Chamu Chibhabha. Blignaut returns to the international arena after a break of almost five years. His attack with the bat will match that of the countrys fast-rising star Elton Chigumbura in the middle order as is the case with the ball to give a relevant partnership that will work reliably in assisting spinners on wicket taking.

Teams: Zimbabwe: Prosper Utseya (captain), Brendan Taylor, Charles Coventry, Andy Blignaut, Hamilton Masakadza, Greg Lamb, Elton Chigumbura, Vusi Sibanda, Ray Price, Graeme Cremer, Chamu Chibhabha, Chris Mpofu, Timycen Maruma, and Craig Ervine.

West Indies A: Brandon Bess, Kraigg Brathwaite, Travis Dowlin, Shane Dowrich, Kirk Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Shannon Gabriel, Justin Guillen, Jason Haynes, Jason Holder, Imran Khan, Nelon Pascal, Shane Shillingford.

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