By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Manica Diamonds defender Partson Jaure will skipper the Warriors when they take on Mauritius in the first round first-leg of the African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier set for the Indian Ocean island nation on Sunday.
The former Dynamos defence marshal will be deputised by reigning Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year and Highlanders captain Ariel Sibanda in a squad that is dominated by Bosso, Chicken Inn and Yadah players.
The three clubs provided a total of 10 players.
Rahman Gumbo, thrust into the hot seat following the sudden resignation of Sunday Chidzambwa on Wednesday, named a final 18-member squad that left for Mauritius via South Africa yesterday morning.
Big Chapungu United shot stopper Talbert Shumba, a Highlanders’ juniors product, also made the cut ahead of Chicken Inn’s Donovan Bernard and Nelson Chadya of Ngezi Platinum Stars, who were part of the initial 33-member provisional squad until a public outcry over the exclusion of Peter Muduhwa and Joel Ngodzo saw the coaches calling up the defender.
Ngodzo was later dropped after it emerged that his travelling documents are not in order.
Muduwa is likely to partner Jaure in central defence on Sunday where Chicken Inn’s Clive Augusto, the PSL’s leading hitman, will lead the Warriors’ strike force alongside young Prince Dube of Highlanders.
Zimbabwe and Mauritius have met nine times before, with the Warriors winning seven, losing one and drawing once.
The first and only loss was way back in August 1982 when Zimbabwe went down 0-2 in the Indian Ocean Games, while the draw came in August 2013 in a Chan 2014 qualifier that ended 1-1.
The return leg of the first round is set for Barbourfields Stadium on August 4.
Goalkeepers: Talbert Shumba (Chapungu), Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders)
Defenders: Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars)
Midfielders: Phenias Bhamusi (Caps United), Brian Chikwenya (Yadah), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders), Ralph Kawondera (Triangle), Never Tigere (FC Platinum), Malvin Gaki (Chicken Inn), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah Stars)
Strikers: Clive Augusto (Chicken Inn), Evans Katema (Dynamos), Prince Dube (Highlanders). The Chronicle