Why Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis simply had to play for Zimbabwe again
Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor marked his return to the local game with a century in the Logan Cup for his Midlands Rhinos team in their emphatic win over new side Rising Stars.
Having left the bright lights of Nottinghamshire where in his final season he had grabbed both domestic limited overs titles.
He mentioned the need to come back to his wife and also to play out his cricket days for the country of his birth, which he had left under a cloud of uncertainty for the future of the game in 2015.
Following Taylor shortly was strike bowler Kyle Jarvis, who was a prized asset for Lancashire, an important wicket taker for his county side.
While complicated a decision to return may have been, they both would have found comfort in the new climes that define the halls of Zimbabwe Cricket, with an increasing talent base, more international and domestic cricket available.
It is through visible reforms which included the drafting of former players like Tatenda Taibu(the convenor of selectors) and head coach Heath Streak, both former captains into the system. Then there was the financial discipline which resulted in players being remunerated regularly and more money being put into the actual game.
Under13, Under 19, women, A teams are all getting games and domestic seasons run for longer. There is even an academy side which recently spent six months in England.
With it, while retaining the likes of Hamilton Masakadza, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine, burgeoning young talents such as Peter Moor, Solomon Mire, Richard Ngarava and Tarisai Musakanda have made it through.
While there is some way until the side becomes a world beater, Taylor and Jarvis walk into a side going in the right direction. Add to that, the connection to home, with focus on making sure that the Chevrons do not miss out on a World Cup, a situation that would be problematic to say the least. And with Zimbabwe most likely to host the qualifiers in 2018 there is even more added value to the return.
The two do bring a welcome headache for the selectors and this has been visible in the matches since the announcements of their return was made. Regulars were strong against Netherlands and have carried very dominant form in the domestic league.
Into this scenario they walk. It is in this space they will seek to flourish.
The Windies are here for two tests and with an historic four day test against South Africa on boxing day, it is exciting times.
At the end of the day, nothing beats international cricket.