Brian Vitori recalled in Zimbabwe squad

Harare: Left-arm seamer Brian Vitori, who has been cleared to bowl in the international cricket again, has been included in the 14-man Zimbabwe squad for the limited-overs series against Afghanistan, beginning on Monday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The 27-year-old was suspended from bowling in international cricket for 12 months by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after his bowling action was deemed `illegal` for the second time in the space of two years.

However, Vitori’s bowling action was cleared last month after he underwent remedial work during the suspended period. Last week, he had bagged three wickets for Zimbabwe A against Kenya.

Reflecting on the fast bowler’s return to the squad, Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer described Vitori as a `true competitor` and said that he is pleased to have someone of his ability back in the squad.

“I am very pleased as the captain to have someone of Brian’s ability in my side. He is a true competitor. He brings great strength and versatility to our seam bowling attack, and we look forward to seeing him on the park again,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Cremer, as saying.

Batsman Ryan Burl, who made his last appearance in limited-overs cricket for Zimbabwe in July 2017, has also been called up in the squad.

Meanwhile, the trio of Christopher Mpofu, Ryan Murray and Brandon Mavuta, who were part of the squad against Bangladesh, have been dropped for the series against Zimbabwe.

The tour, featuring two T20Is and five-match ODI series, will be a crucial for Zimbabwe as they step up their preparations for the World Cup Qualifier event which they will host in March.

“We could not have asked for better preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier than this series, coming hard on the heels of the Bangladesh tour. Facing Afghanistan, who are in the same group as us in the qualifiers, makes it even better and we are looking to do well against them and then hopefully carry that momentum into the tournament on home soil,” Cremer said.

The Zimbabwe squad for Afghanistan tour is as follows:

Zimbabwe squad: Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Peter Moor, Malcolm Waller, Graeme Cremer (capt) , Brian Vitori, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Kyle Jarvis.