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Belgium-born Naqvi in Zim Squad for T20I Series Against India

Zimbabwe have provisionally named the Belgian-born Antum Naqvi in a young squad that will face India in a five-match Twenty20 international (T20I) series in Harare.

 

The 25-year-old batter’s inclusion is subject to the confirmation of his citizenship status.

Naqvi was born to Pakistani parents in Brussels, Belgium, before moving to Australia, but he was considered for selection after he declared his desire to represent Zimbabwe in international cricket and applied for naturalisation.

Turning out for Rhinos on the domestic front, he boasts a strike rate of 146.80 in the T20 format, while his averages of 72.00 in first-class cricket and 73.42 in List A cricket underline his massive potential to excel in the international game.

Aiming to rebuild under new head coach Justin Sammons after failing to qualify for the just-ended ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, Zimbabwe have picked a young squad with an average age of 27 and a total of 558 T20I appearances.

The captain Sikandar Raza, at 38 and with 86 matches under his belt, is the team’s most experienced player, followed by 29-year-old Luke Jongwe who has featured in 63 games.

The other seasoned campaigners in the side are pace bowlers Richard Ngarava and Blessing Muzarabani, aged 26 and 27 and with 52 and 51 T20I appearances respectively.

Zimbabwe welcome the return of Tendai Chatara alongside Wessly Madhevere, Brandon Mavuta, Dion Myers, Innocent Kaia and Milton Shumba.

Clive Madande, Brian Bennett, Johnathan Campbell, Wellington Masakadza, Tadiwanashe Marumani and Faraz Akram have been retained, but five of the players who were part of the team’s last T20I series, away to Bangladesh in April, have missed out.

Veterans Craig Ervine and Sean Williams were not considered for selection, while Ryan Burl, Joylord Gumbie and Ainsley Ndlovu failed to make the cut.

The series between Zimbabwe and India will get underway this weekend, with the first two matches scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Harare Sports Club, starting at 1pm local time.

ZIMBABWE SQUAD FOR T20I SERIES VERSUS INDIA:

Raza Sikandar (captain), Akram Faraz, Bennett Brian, Campbell Johnathan, Chatara Tendai, Jongwe Luke, Kaia Innocent, Madande Clive, Madhevere Wessly, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Masakadza Wellington, Mavuta Brandon, Muzarabani Blessing, Myers Dion, Naqvi Antum, Ngarava Richard, Shumba Milton

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