not go to Harare to play Zimbabwe in the 2003 World Cup but in April
the Zimbabwe government instructed
the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) to say that they were willing to send a team
for an early summer tour of England.
The visit was sanctioned by the British government. Opponents of Robert
Mugabe's regime threatened to disrupt the tour and one hundred British MPs accused
the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of putting profit before
principles in allowing the tour.In
the end there was relatively little protest at the grounds from the 'Stop The
The selection was vetted by
Robert Mugabe although the ZCU Chairman, Peter Chingoka, denied that
political considerations played any role in the squad selection.
The tour failed to vindicate
the selectors' policy of playing a young, inexperienced side.Even as the batting was weakened by
Vermeulen's misdemeanours and Carlisle's
injury, the selectors failed to call up experienced replacements, although it
was clear to all how badly they were needed.
Background conditions did not
help the Zimbabweans either.English
counties fielded under-strength teams in the warm-up matches and pitches were
too friendly to seam bowling so that England's fast bowlers, even in
the absence of Hoggard, Flintoff and Caddick, effortlessly picked up the
Zimbabwean batsmen's wickets cheaply. It seemed that England were helped far more than
the tourists by some dubious umpiring decisions.
The Zimbabweans lost both Tests
and did not reach the final of the NatWest Challenge at Lord's, although they
did record a four wicket win in the Trent Bridge ODI.
Middle-order batsmenStuart Carlisle, Dion Ebrahim, Sean Ervine,
Grant Flower, Barney Rogers, Douglas Marillier,
All-rounders: Andy Blignaut
Spin bowlerRaymond Price
Fast bowlers:Douglas Hondo,Mluleki Nkala, Travis Friend.
S V Carlisle
M L Nkala
B G Rogers
Joined the tour party for the
C K Coventry
Logan Cup teams
Msh: Mashonaland (6)
Average age of team at time of
first Test match
(11 May 2003) :
24 yearrs0 months
ODI member of squad for NatWest
Appearances made before the tour
G W Flower 63,Streak 51,Carlisle 27,Ebrahim 14,Friend 10,Price 10,Blignaut 8,Nkala 7,Taibu 6,Marillier 5,Hondo 1,Vermeulen 1,Ervine 0,Rogers 0,Sibanda 0.
M A 'Babu' Meman
Bradley I Robinson
Ali Shah (chief selector),Geoff
Marsh (coach), .........
Unavailable:Andy Flower and Henry Olonga retired from
international cricket following their black armband protest in the 2003 World
Cup, mourning the death of democracy.Alistair Campbell, Paul Strang and Guy Whitall had also retired.
Andy Blignaut was available
again after disagreements in 2002 with Zimbabwe's cricketing authorities
Tour Party Announced :15 April
2003.(Times 17 46b)
Not selected : Craig Wishart, Gavin Rennie and Trevor
for one-day series:Nkala, Rogers, Sibanda and Vermeulen would
go home while Gary Brent, Charles Coventry,Stuart Matsikenyere, Waddington Mwayenga and Richard Sims were added
to the side.
Time between selection and departure from Zimbabwe
(15 April - 29 April)
The team left Harare for London
on 29 April.Arrival at Heathrow Airport was on 30 April 2003. The Zimbabwe team travelled to the Crown Plaza
in London before leaving in the team coach for
and their first match.
Time spent in England
(30 April - 14 July)
..... (selector on tour),Geoff Marsh (coach),Heath Streak (captain),Tatenda Taibu (vice-captain)
Mark Vermeulen was sent home early after several
transgressions, including deliberately failing to stop a ball against Sussex
at Hove as it was ‘too cold’ and verbally abusing the then team manager, Babu
Meman, in public at Shenley, where they were playing Middlesex. At the
end of the second day of the Test at Chester-le-Street,
Vermeulen ignored an instruction to travel with the rest of the squad on the
coach and went off on his own.
Stuart Carlisle broke his thumb
before the one-day series, but the selectors declined the opportunity to
recall Rennie or Wishart.
•Vermeulen scored 198 against
a weakened Sussex
team. Carlisle and Flower also recorded
centuries in the first-class warm-up matches.
•Grant Flower hit 96 not
out to guide Zimbabwe to
victory over England in
the one-day international at Trent
•Streak took four wickets
for no runs in 16 balls in the ODI at Bristol.
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
§ One-day internationals
On 8 June Babu Meman, the team
manager sent Mark Vermeulen home for misconduct.At the end of the second day of the Test at
Chester-le-Street, Vermeulen had ignored an
instruction to travel with the rest of the squad on the coach and went off on
Mluleki Nkala, Barney Rogers
and Vusi Sibanda, who played no part in the Test series, also returned home
before the ODI series.
Zimbabwe did not
reach the final of the one-day triangular series and flew home on 13 ? July.