By Tiripano, Sean Williams
Zimbabwe Cricket have confirmed that two local cricketers — Regis Chakabva and Timycen Maruma — have tested positive for Covid-19.
The duo, who are not part of the Chevrons currently touring Pakistan, were roommates for a week in a bio-secure bubble set up for players who were on standby at the ZC Academy House in Harare.
Two other members of staff, who were providing support services at the same facility, have also tested positive for the coronavirus.
This follows a screening, and testing exercise, for those who came into close contact with Chakabva and Maruma.
The rest of the Chevrons,who are on tour in Pakistan, stayed at a separate facility in a secluded wing at a Harare hotel.
They all tested negative before leaving for, and upon their arrival, in Islamabad this week.
The touring side are scheduled to undergo another round of coronavirus tests at the end of their quarantine period on Tuesday.
Chakabva and Maruma, as well as the other two infected backroom staffers, are now observing a period of self-isolation in accordance with Covid-19 protocols.
‘”We wish the four a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming them back at work soon,” ZC said in a statement.
“The health and well-being of our players, and staff, remains our highest priority at ZC.
“Therefore, apart from providing support to those infected, and affected, we will continue to adhere to Government and public health guidelines with regards to our facilities and staff and will be taking further steps to curb the spread of the corona virus.
“’In the meantime, ZC has temporarily closed the Academy House for disinfection.’”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe captain, Chamu Chibhabha, is confident conditions in Pakistan will help his side get their campaign, for a place at the next ICC Cricket World Cup, off to a good start.
The Chevrons are scheduled to face Pakistan in three one-day international matches in Rawalpindi.
All three ODIs will be day-night affairs.
Chibhabha, who is one of the six Zimbabwe players in the current squad who toured Pakistan in 2015, said they were still trying to get accustomed to the local conditions.
But, he said, he expects high-scoring encounters.
“From our experience in 2015, we know we are going to play on a flat wicket — some might have a bit of spin on them, slow and turning, but we are expecting a lot of runs on the board in this series,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s going to be hot but it’s not as bad as we expected.
“We will also be playing day-night matches, so dew is going to play a huge factor.”
The first game is scheduled for October 30, with the other two fixtures are set for November 1 and 3.
The series is part of the inaugural Super League that will serve as the main route for qualification for the 2023 edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup in India.
The 13-team league competition will see the top seven sides, plus India, qualifying directly for the World Cup.
The remaining five teams, along with five Associate sides, will play in a qualifier tournament from which two teams will go through to the global showcase.
Speaking during Zimbabwe’s second day of training, at the Army Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi, Chibhabha underscored his side’s desire to do well in the Super League.
“It’s very crucial for us to play really well,” he said. “Super League games are very important when you consider the fact that we have to qualify for the World Cup.
“We would rather qualify directly as opposed to having to play in the qualifiers because that’s a lot of pressure.
“So, we would love to get a couple of wins under our belt, which makes life easier for us to qualify for the World Cup.”
After the ODI series, Pakistan and Zimbabwe will tussle it out in three Twenty20 international matches scheduled for 7, 8 and 10 November in Lahore. – Zimcricket
Zimbabwe Squad for Pakistan Tour:
Chamu Chibhabha (captain), Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald. The Chronicle/ZimCricket