Zimbabwe have named their final squad for the historic women’s one-day and Twenty20 international (T20I) series against Pakistan that gets underway in Harare on Tuesday.
Captain Mary-Anne Musonda, Precious Marange, Modester Mupachikwa, Josephine Nkomo, Ashley Ndiraya, Tasmeen Granger and Nomvelo Sibanda will provide the home side with the much-needed experience against one of the world’s best sides in women’s cricket.
Conspicuous by their absence from the squad are veteran campaigners Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano and Nomatter Mutasa who are both expecting, while Anesu Mushangwe and Sharne Mayers have also been omitted as they are currently playing cricket in Australia and South Africa respectively.
Their absence has opened up opportunities for Francesca Chipare and Kellies Ndlovu – the only one in the squad yet to play some form of international cricket – who have been rewarded for their impressive performances during the recent inter-provincial women’s competitions.
Christabel Chatonzwa and Esther Mbofana, who were both not part of the last women’s side to represent Zimbabwe in international cricket back in May 2019, have made the cut this time round.
Zimbabwe and Pakistan, who have never faced each other before, will get the series underway when they meet in the first one-dayer scheduled for 9 February, with the other two 50-over matches pencilled in for 12 and 14 February.
Up next will be the T20I matches set for 17, 19 and 20 February.
All games will be played at Harare Sports Club in the capital, with no spectators allowed in the venue where stringent COVID-19 protocols are in place as part of a bio-secure bubble set up for the tour.
Both Zimbabwe and Pakistan are using the tour as part of their preparations for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021, a 10-team tournament that will be held in June and July.
The top three teams from that qualifying event will progress to the 50-over ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
Zimbabwe Women’s Squad:
Mary-Anne Musonda (captain), Ashley Ndiraya, Precious Marange, Pelajia Mujaji, Chiedza Dhururu, Modester Mupachikwa, Kellies Ndlovu, Tasmeen Granger, Esther Mbofana, Francesca Chipare, Loryn Phiri, Nomvelo Sibanda, Josephine Nkomo, Audrey Mazvishaya, Christabel Chatonzwa