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Zimbabwean and Southern Rocks all-rounder, Elton Chigumbura managed to survive the chop when the national cricket team selectors announced their 15 member squad that will represent the country in the International Cricket Council World Cup next month.

He is the team’s captain and many of his critics still feel that had it not been for his position, he should have been axed from the team just like Mountaineers’ top order batsman, Hamilton Masakadza and Matabeleland Tuskers’ Keith Dabengwa who failed to make it even in the 30 men provisional squad.

Chigumbura, an aggressive batsman and a seam bowler made his debut for Zimbabwe in 2004 against South Africa, playing over 100 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 6 tests earning himself the nickname “Mr. Boom Boom” because of the heavy sound produced by the ball after hitting the top of a roof for a six.

The man has however found the going tough at both domestic and international level as he has struggled with both the bat and the ball.

In the Stanbic Bank 20Twenty Series tournament played at Harare Sports Club from 13 to 21 November last year, Chigumbura scored 165 runs from six matches, 68 shy of the tournament’s leading scorer, Nick Compton who had 233 runs.

He also picked up five wickets in the whole tournament where Zimbabwean spinner, Graeme Cremer emerged as the tournaments’ best bowler with 11 wickets.

Chigumbura’s presence was only felt in two matches, one against Matabeleland Tuskers where he scored 65 runs and picked up 2 wickets and the other against Mountaineers where he scored 71 runs and picked up 1 wicket.

In the other matches, he was dismissed for very low runs, 10 against Southern Rocks, 3 against MidWest Rhinos and a duck against Mashonaland Eagles.

In the MetBank Pro40 Championship, international assignments restricted him to play only one match for Southern Rocks in which he scored only 34 runs off 24 balls.

In the other domestic competition, The Castle Logan Cup “Mr. Boom Boom” is not even in the top 30 of leading runs scorers.

When Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh in December last year, injury restricted him to play three games in which he scored a total of 37 runs in all the matches.

Announcing the team last week, the national team selectors Allan Butcher and Alistair Campbell told the journalists at the press conference that the skipper was not playing according to what is expected from him.

Butcher, who is the head coach said, “Elton’s performance has been poor and he knows that he had not been putting enough as the captain and one of the experienced player in the team.”

In an endeavor to silence his critics, Chigumbura will lead his charges in two warm up matches in Dubai before they face Australia in their opening match of the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup at Sardar Patel Stadium in India on February 21 next month.

Zimbabwe is seeded in Group A which consists of Australia, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The Squad

1. Elton Chigumbura (captain)
2. Regis Chakabva
3. Charles Coventry
4. Graeme Cremer
5. Craig Ervine
6. Sean Ervine
7. Gregory Lamb
8. Shingirai Masakadza
9. Christopher Mpofu
10. Raymond Price
11. Edward Rainsford
12. Tatenda Taibu
13. Brendan Taylor
14. Prosper Utseya
15. Sean Williams

Non-Travelling reserves

Njabulo Ncube

Tinashe Panyangara

Terrence Duffin

Vusimuzi Sibanda

By Terrance Ndawana

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