Vitori and Cremer give Zimbabwe options

Zimbabwe's bowling options will be replenished ahead of their tour to New Zealand early next year. Left-armer, Brian Vitori, and leg spinner, Graeme Cremer, both made comebacks from injury in the country's domestic Twenty20 tournament which started on Friday.

Brian Vitori has returned to fitness ahead of Zimbabwe's tour to New Zealand
Brian Vitori has returned to fitness ahead of Zimbabwe’s tour to New Zealand

Vitori has recovered from a stress fracture of the shin, which kept him out of action since mid-September and will turn out for his home franchise, the Southern Rocks. Cremer has spent nine months away from the game with a serious knee injury. He played in the Mid West Rhinos Twenty20 match against Kenya on Monday and has been declared fit to compete.

"It's great to have them both back," said Heath Streak, Zimbabwe's bowling coach. "When you look at where we were a year ago, people said we could play well in certain spinning conditions and we have no pacers coming through, now we have a genuine attacking option."

Vitori formed an impressive new-ball partnership with Kyle Jarvis, signalling the start of better things for Zimbabwe when the duo made their debut in the country's Test comeback against Bangladesh in August.

Vitori, in particular, had a dream start to international cricket and took five wickets in that Test as well as five-fors in two ODIs after that. However, he soon found international cricket tougher than it first looked and on a flatter track in Bulawayo against Pakistan, Vitori was unable to replicate his success.

Vitori bowled a fair amount after making his debut, but Streak said the injury was not a result of overuse. Vitori was out for six weeks and Zimbabwe Cricket took precautions to give him a proper rehabilitation process and not rush him back.

Cremer has also eased himself back in, with hopes high that he will be able to merit a national recall ahead of Zimbabwe's tour to New Zealand.

As the country's premier leg spinner, his skills were sorely missed during the three home series’ and Streak, like national captain Brendan Taylor, has said having a fit Cremer could complete Zimbabwe's line-up.

"It's important that he gets in some cricket before Christmas and is ready to go again if we need him," Streak said. "He has a lot of experience now and the potential to develop into an all-rounder. He is working on his batting and he is an exceptional fielder."

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