Zimbabwe Women will be without six key players, including captain Mary-Anne Musonda, when they face South Africa Emerging Women in five one-day matches in Bulawayo.
The games – scheduled for 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 May – will be played behind closed doors at Queens Sports Club, with no fans allowed in the ground due to COVID-19 protocols.
Musonda has been ruled out of the series as she is recuperating from a knee injury, having undergone surgery last month.
Ashley Ndiraya, who is recovering from a broken finger, has been sidelined too.
Zimbabwe will also have to do without the veteran duo of Chipo Mugeri and Nomatter Mutasa who are both on maternity leave.
The selectors have also decided not to bring in the experienced pair of Sharne Mayers and Anesu Mushangwe who are currently plying their trade in South Africa and Australia respectively.
Instead, with an eye on the future, they have opted to blood youngsters such as Kellis Ndhlovu and Mitchelle Mavhunga, while a few others who have been on the fringes for long will finally get some game time.
In Musonda’s absence, Josephine Nkomo will captain Zimbabwe Women and she together with Modester Mupachikwa, Precious Marange, Tasmeen Granger, Esther Mbofana and Nomvelo Sibanda will provide the hosts with the much-needed experience in the series.
Zimbabwe Women, who were recently granted Test and one-day international status by the International Cricket Council (ICC), will be using the matches against the South Africa Emerging Women side as part of their preparations for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021 scheduled for December in Sri Lanka.
The top three teams from that 10-team qualifying event will progress to the 50-over ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
Zimbabwe Women Squad:
Nkomo Josephine (captain), Chatonzwa Christabel, Chipare Francesca, Dhururu Chiedza, Granger Tasmeen, Gwanzura Nyasha, Marange Precious, Mavhunga Mitchelle, Mazvishaya Audrey, Mbofana Esther, Mujaji Pellagia, Mupachikwa Modester, Ndhlovu Kellis, Phiri Loryn, Sibanda Nomvelo
Reserves: Mzembe Chiedza, Nire Rumbidzai