Gary Ballance will play Test cricket for the first time since 2017 after being picked to Zimbabwe’s team for next month’s two-match series against the West Indies.
Due to a fractured finger, Sean Williams will miss the Bulawayo Tests. Craig Ervine, who is playing in his first Test in three years, will captain the team in Williams’ place.
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All-rounders Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl will also be unavailable for Zimbabwe due to franchise obligations abroad, and fast bowlers Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani are both out with injuries.
The 16-man roster includes a number of players who have never played for their country, including Tafadzwa Tsiga, Joylord Gumbie, Kudzai Maunze, and Tanunurwa Makoni, who was chosen on their Logan Cup performances at home.
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Gary Ballance represented England in 23 Tests between 2014 and 2017:
Bradley Evans, Tanaka Chivanga, and Innocent Kaia, who have all participated in limited-overs international competitions, may soon make their Test debuts. Six years after his last Test appearance, Chamu Chibhabha has been brought back, and veteran all-rounder Donald Tiripano has also been added.
Between 2014 and 2017, Ballance participated in 23 Tests for England, recording four hundred and an average of 37.45. After being released by Yorkshire last year, he went back to Zimbabwe, where he was born, and earlier this month made his ODI debut against Ireland.
Zimbabwe will play Test cricket again in this series, which kicks off on Saturday at Queens Sports Club, after an 18-month absence.
Zimbabwe Test squad to play West Indies: Gary Ballance, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Tanaka Chivanga, Craig Ervine (capt), Bradley Evans, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Tanunurwa Makoni, Wellington Masakadza, Kudzai Maunze, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano, Tafadzwa Tsiga
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