National men’s team captain Brendan Taylor was named the CBZ Cricketer of the year at the annual CBZ Bank Zimbabwe Cricket Awards 2011 on Monday night. He scooped another top accolade, the Croco Motors Batsman of the year, while Keegan Meth was named the South African Airways Bowler of the year. Brendan Taylor played three Test matches in the 2010/11 season, scoring 358 runs at an average of 71.6 runs with his highest score being 117 in the Test match against New Zealand at Queens Sports Club, making that his second century for the season. His highest score in ODIs was an unbeaten 145 against South Africa in 2010. From the 27 ODI matches he has played, Taylor scored a total of 1096 runs at an average of 45.66 with four centuries in the process.
New kid on the block, Brian Vitori got two awards on the night; he was named the Tour Africa Rookie of the year and the Interfin Bank Most promising cricketer of the year. Vitori made his international cricket debut in August 2011 in Zimbabwe’s return match to Test cricket against Bangladesh in Harare. From just two Test matches has claimed five wickets at an average of 48 runs –with a personal best of four wickets for 66 runs in the match. He took two consecutive five wicket hauls from his debut ODI matches against Bangladesh, as a result Zimbabwe won both matches and ultimately won the series 3-2.
Matabeleland Tuskers walked away as the most decorated franchise of the year after being accorded the title as the Castle Franchise team of the year and the Best administered franchise award. They also had the official hand over of the Castle Logan Cup title and had two of their team members winning awards as well. Team coach Dave Houghton was named the Afdis Coach of the year while, as mentioned above, Keegan Meth is the bowler of the year.
CBZ Bank Cricketer of the year
Croco Motors Batsman of the year
South African Airways Bowler of the year
Tour Africa Rookie of the year
Interfin Bank Most promising cricketer of the year
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Zimbabwe openers Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza fly out of Harare on Tuesday evening for the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
The two have been contracted by Bangladeshi teams to play in that country’s Twenty20 Premier League.
Taylor will play for the Chittagong Kings, while Masakadza will play for Sylhet Royals.
At the Kings, captained by Bangladesh international Mahmudullah, the Zimbabwe skipper will join other overseas players such as Ryan Ten Doeschate of the Netherlands, Jacob Oram of New Zealand, Wahab Riaz of Pakistan and Shaun Tait of Australia.
Masakadza’s side is led by Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim who will also keep wicket and contribute in the middle order with the bat.
“I was hoping that Tino Best and Andre Russell would be there so that I get a headstart in acquainting myself again with Caribbean opposition ahead of the forthcoming tour to the West Indies,” said Masakadza.
The Zimbabwe top-order batsman will have to be content with sizing up West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Smith, who is part of the Royals’ foreign contingent that includes Dirk Nannes of Australia and Paul Stirling, the 22-year old Ireland opening batsman.
Although the final of the Bangladesh Premier League is on the 18th of next month, both Masakadza and Taylor have said they will respond to the call for national duty if they are included in the Zimbabwe travelling squad to the West Indies.
“The national team always comes first and so there is no doubt that we will make it in time for the West Indies,” said Taylor before his departure tonight.
The Zimbabwe squad is set to leave Harare on the 16th of next Monday for London, en route to the West Indies where Zimbabwe will play two Twenty20 International matches, three One-Day Internationals and two Test matches against the hosts.