15 Jan 2012

Opener fails to make Zimbabwe team to tour New Zealand

1:04 pm on 15 January 2012

The Zimbabwe opening batsman Vusi Sibanda hasn't been selected for this month's cricket tour of New Zealand because he chose to play grade cricket in Australia and declined a Zimbabwe Cricket contract.

Zimbabwe play a one-off Test, three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals in New Zealand, and named a 15-man squad led by Brendan Taylor.

Sibanda did not accept an offer from his franchise, the Mid West Rhinos, where he was captain, at the start of the domestic season in September 2011, but continued to play for the national team.

He's playing for Eastern Suburbs in Sydney.

Meanwhile the tour will be a litmus test for Taylor, who has been playing Twenty20 cricket for Wellington.

Taylor will lead Zimbabwe for the first time away from home since taking over the captaincy after the World Cup last year.

It will also include the first away Test Zimbabwe will play in six years, after they made a return to the five-day format in August 2011.