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Raza, Taylor absent from Zimbabwe T20I squad

A dejected Sikandar Raza walks back after holing out IDI via Getty Images

Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza were among the notable absentees in the Zimbabwe squad to play the T20I tri-series against Australia and Pakistan. Also missing were Graeme Cremer, who was sacked as captain in March, and batsmen Sean Williams and Craig Ervine. In better news for a senior player, Elton Chigumbura, who has not played for Zimbabwe since November 2016, and Hamilton Masakadza made it to the roster.

The series itself - set to begin on July 1 - had been in doubt with the players refusing to train over unpaid salaries. They had sent a letter to Zimbabwe Cricket demanding to see a payment plan for two months' outstanding salaries, and match fees from last year's tour to Sri Lanka. ZC responded through their newly-appointed consultant Vince van der Bijl, that payments would be settled by July 25th, a month after the players' deadline. The players have deemed that response unsatisfactory, especially as did not come from a ZC official.

A source told ESPNcricinfo that not everyone named in the squad was willing to play in the tournament and could yet put down their tools on June 25th, if their money does not arrive. Raza's exclusion, meanwhile, may be explained by his being picked to play for Montreal Tigers in Canada's new T20 League. The tournament runs from June 28 to July 15, clashing with the tri-series' schedule.

A ZC press release said: "The selectors picked the squad from the players who participated in the 20-over tournament involving two local sides, the Zimbabwe Select and Board XI, and Kenya. Players involved in competitive cricket abroad who made themselves available for selection were also considered."

The release also said the squad had assembled for a training camp on Wednesday, under the supervision of new head coach Lalchand Rajput, and that it will be trimmed to 15 by Monday.

Zimbabwe squad: Cephas Zhuwao, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Tarisai Musakanda, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Elton Chigumbura, Malcolm Waller, Brian Chari, Peter Moor, Donald Tiripano, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Ryan Murray, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu, Prince Masvaure, John Nyumbu, Ryan Burl, Brandon Mavuta, Rugare Magarira.