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Zimbabwe call up Luke Jongwe in host of changes for Pakistan Tests

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Brendan Taylor returns, Craig Ervine out with injury, four other uncapped players in the mix

Zimbabwe have named five uncapped players – Luke Jongwe, Richard Ngarava, Roy Kaia, Milton Shumba and Tanaka Chivanga – in their 16-man squad for the series of two Tests against Pakistan, the first of which starts in Harare on April 29.

Brendan Taylor, who missed Zimbabwe’s last Test series against Afghanistan in the UAE because of health issues but made a comeback for the second and third T20Is against Pakistan, has made the cut. Craig Ervine continues to miss out because of a calf injury. Tendai Chisoro, who played his only Test match in 2017, has also been recalled.

The players from Zimbabwe’s Test squad against Afghanistan to miss out were Sikandar Raza, who is recovering from a bone marrow infection, Ryan Burl, Wesley Madhevere, Richmond Mutumbami, and Brandon Mavuta.

Of their replacements, right-arm medium pacer Jongwe was Zimbabwe’s most successful bowler in the T20Is against Pakistan with nine wickets, while left-arm quick Ngarava took two wickets at an economy rate of 8.36. Kaia, a 29-year-old middle-order batter, was part of the XI on his ODI debut against Pakistan in Lahore in May 2015, but didn’t get a chance to bat or bowl as the game was washed out. Shumba, a 20-year-old left-arm spinner, has played two T20Is, while 27-year-old fast bowler Chivanga has never played internationally.

Joylord Gumbie, a wicketkeeper-batter, and Takudzwanashe Kaitano, an offspin-bowling allrounder, have been placed on standby.



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David Saker on Newlands ball-tampering controversy

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The then Australia bowling coach has likened the team’s ‘monumental mistake’ to the underarm incident of 1981

David Saker, Australia’s bowling coach at the time of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, has said the controversy will continue to taint Australian cricket much like the underarm incident of 1981 has done.



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Gender equality campaigners call on Lord’s to cancel men’s Varsity fixture

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The Stump Out Sexism (SOS) campaign has called upon Marylebone Cricket Club to revoke its traditional invitation to Oxford and Cambridge universities to play the men’s Varsity match at Lord’s, unless a women’s game is also included.

Replying to a request from the campaign to “step in” to find an “equitable solution” to a disagreement about gender parity in university cricket, the MCC chief executive, Guy Lavender, wrote in a letter on Friday that Lord’s would be “very happy to accommodate a men’s and women’s T20 double header on the same day next year” in response.

But he also suggested the dispute was “primarily a matter for [the] respective universities” and stopped short of committing to intervene to ensure the match came to fruition.

While that response has encouraged the organisers of the SOS campaign, who have noted they won more commitment from MCC in two days than they had from the universities’ cricket clubs in two-and-a-half years, they describe themselves as “not completely satisfied”.

They argue that MCC could go further and use their power as hosts to insist on gender parity. The men’s varsity match has been played (in various formats) at Lord’s for almost 200 years. The women’s match has never made it beyond the Nursery Ground and this year, with Lord’s undergoing a redevelopment, has not even made it that far.

Now, while expressing their appreciation for the MCC offer, the SOS campaign have called for a “further commitment to ensuring the Varsity fixture is equitable”.



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Women’s cricket – India Women set to tour Australia in September 2021

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CA is yet to confirm the make-up of the postponed series, but an announcement is expected soon

India Women are set to tour Australia for a bilateral series in September. The tour, originally comprising three ODIs and slated for January this year, was officially postponed in December 2020. A report on the Cricket Australia website at the time said the series, rescheduled for the 2021-22 season, would be expanded to include three T20Is.

While CA is yet to make an official announcement on the dates or make-up of the series, Australia pace bowler Megan Schutt said on a recent podcast that her side’s next assignment would be against India.

“We have got a tour against India in mid-September,” Schutt said on No Balls: The Cricket Podcast, hosted by Kate Cross and Alex Hartley, in an episode aired on May 13. “So, there’s a couple of camps. I believe we are doing one in Darwin, which will be really cool… and then the tour against India. And then pretty much from there things get crazy with Big Bash, WNCL, Ashes, World Cup, and hopefully the Commonwealth Games.”

It is understood the Australian board will make an announcement regarding the new dates for the series soon.



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