The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Zimbabwe SoS for Campbell

Bloemfontein: Zimbabwe have asked former captain Alistair Campbell to put down his television commentator’s microphone and join their injury-ridden World Cup squad.

Campbell, a shock omission from the original 15-man squad but who has not picked up a bat for six weeks, said: “I was out here to commentate and the team management contacted me and me to come in for the last two matches. I’m still contracted to them. I suppose I’m going from behind the mike across the boundary.”

Zimbabwe want Campbell to replace Mark Vermeulen, who suffered a hairline fracture above his left eye while batting against teammate Travis Friend in the nets on Friday.

Vermeulen will have to be examined by three independent doctors and his injury confirmed as serious before World Cup organisers allow him to be replaced.

“My wife will take my cricket equipment to the airport (in Harare) to get it flown to me. I don’t have a World Cup playing strip,” Campbell added.

Zimbabwe, facing elimination from the World Cup Super Sixes, are also set to ask for a second replacement, with right-hand batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri on stand-by for leg-spinner Brian Murphy.

Murphy tore a calf muscle while warming up during the interval in Saturday’s six-wicket defeat against New Zealand. Allrounder Guy Whittall also has a calf strain and is unlikely to play in Zimbabwe’s next game while key batsman Andy Flower has a niggling groin problem. The 30-year-old Campbell averages 30.63 in 187 one-day Internationals and has also played 60 Tests.

Zimbabwe are bottom of the Super Six table with 3.5 points. Their last two matches are against Kenya on Wednesday and Sri Lanka on Saturday.

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