Zimbabwe leave out Sikandar Raza from T20 squad over disciplinary issues
Zimbabwe have discarded Sikandar Raza from the 15-man squad announced for the forthcoming T20 triangular series in Bangladesh, which will involve Afghanistan as the third participant.
Raza has apparently been left out owing to a disciplinary issue raised by captain Hamilton Masakadza, according to the statement released by Zimbabwe Cricket.
"It is important that we support our captain, whether it is Masakadza or anyone else, by creating an environment in which we can be confident he will have the full support of all players, with everyone pulling in the same direction and able to trust each other. It is for those reasons that we have decided to leave Raza out," the convenor of selectors, Walter Chawaguta, said.
Zimbabwe, already facing a suspension by the International Cricket Council for excessive political interference, will not take part in next year's T20 World Cup after being barred from participating in the Qualifiers in October.
Raza had been vocal in his opposition to the ICC's verdict and claimed this threatened the livelihoods of the Zimbabwe cricketers.
Meanwhile, Masakadza has confirmed his retirement following the conclusion of the T20 tournament which will be held from September 13 to 24.
The squad includes a blend of youth and experience with the likes of Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams retaining their place while the uncapped duo Ainsley Ndlovu and Tony Munyonga also features among the 15 names.
Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput has emphasized the team management's focus on building a competitive unit for the 2023 World Cup.
"We are now shifting our focus to rebuilding a new team and to do that we must gradually blood in younger players and create a new culture that encourages unity, hard work, professionalism and excellence," he said.
"We will not make wholesale changes, as we definitely still need some of the experienced players to help the new generation find their feet in international cricket.
"It is important that we still field a competitive side - that is why we have a good mix of youth and experience in the team that has been selected for the Bangladesh tour."
Zimbabwe will first play a tour game against BCB XI in Fatullah on September 11 before kicking off the tournament with their clash against the home side two days later.
Hamilton Masakadza (c), Regis Chakabva, Richmond Mutumbami, Sean Williams, Neville Madziva, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Tony Munyonga, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Christopher Mpofu, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Ainsley Ndlovu, Timycen Maruma, Ryan Burl