Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput, who was announced as the permanent head coach of the side on Friday (24 August), has welcomed the return of senior players to the side, as he prepares his side for their upcoming tour of South Africa and Bangladesh
With the unavailability of the senior players, Rajput had to make do with a depleted squad in a whitewash by Pakistan in the One Day International series 5-0 last month, as well as, have beaten in a triangular involving Australia as well at home.
The long-standing dispute between the players and Board concerning unpaid salaries led them to being unavailable for selection but now they will available for selection, as International Cricket Council has stepped in to help the suffering union meet its outstanding debts.
According to a report in Reuters, Rajput said in a media release from Zimbabwe cricket, “To have a full squad will be excellent. They (senior players) will bring additional strength and confidence to the team. The likes of Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine – their coming back means a great deal.”
He added, “My aim is to build a stronger team and take Zimbabwe cricket to the next level and that is my biggest challenge. I would like the team to play positive cricket, play hard and play to win. Hard work, team work, consistency, discipline and maintaining fitness levels would be my main focus areas.”
Meanwhile, tough tours awaits Zimbabwe, as the team is scheduled to play three ODIs and three T20Is in South Africa, starting from 30 September before taking up Bangladesh in the three ODIs in October and Rajput is hoping to well prepare his players for the upcoming series.
Rajput further added, “South Africa and Bangladesh are among the toughest tours. But I think tough tours make you and the players even tougher. So with my experience I will make the players tough and to perform better in tough conditions.”
He signed off by saying, “We have a two-month camp and one month is already gone, and we have really worked hard on our fitness. We have also worked hard on our skills – batting, bowling and fielding skills. That is the biggest challenge and I think we can make a difference in that. I am very excited to get on the road with this team.”