While Zambia have settled for a makeshift team for their 2018 COSAFA Cup campaign, defending champions Zimbabwe have pulled out all the stops and named 25 foreign-based players to their provisional list for the tournament.
Zimbabwe coach Sunday Chidzambwa has called up 33 players for selection with only eight on the list home-based.
Chidzambwa said he had made the decision to call his strongest side because he is using the COSAFA Cup as preparations for their 2019 AFCON qualifiers in September.
Leading the charge, as Zimbabwe seek an unprecedented 6th COSAFA Cup that they won last year following a 3-1 win over Zambia in the final, is striker Knowledge Musona of Belgium club KV Oostende.
Rising star midfielder Talent Chawapiwa of Baroka FC in South Africa has also been calleed and is one of the prominent two-thirds of COSAFA Cup call-ups Zimbabwe featured during the four-nations cup Zambia hosted in Ndola in March.
And with no CAF continental action in June until the end of the 2018 FIFA world Cup on July 15, Chidzambwa has also summoned Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Khama Billiat whose side has 2018 CAF Champions League obligations.
But Zambia has left out all their key local players with CAF Champions League assignments from Zesco United including in-form striker Lazarus Kambole.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe opens their title defence on June 3 when they face winner from Group B that consists of Botswana, Angola, Mauritius and Malawi.
Zimbabwe, 2017 semifinalist Lesotho, 2017 quarterfinalists Swaziland, 2016 winners Namibia, hosts South Africa and Zambia enjoy byes to the quarterfinals that start on June 2.
South Africa will host this year’s COSAFA Cup from May 27 to June 9.
Zimbabwe has a record five tournaments wins but have never collected back-to-back titles.
South Africa and Zambia have four titles each.
George Chigova (Polokwane City)
Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs)
Donovan Bernard (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Chang Mariyoni (Triangle)
Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids)
Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs)
Kelvin Moyo (FC Platinum)
Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars)
Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Tendayi Darikwa (Nottingham Forest)
Jameson Mukombwe (FC Platinum)
Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Harare City)
Costa Nhamoinesu (AC Sparta Prague)
Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Honest Moyo (Highlanders)
Adam Chicksen (Bradford City)
Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates)
Richard Hachiro (Herentals)
Andy Rinomhota (Reading)
Kundai Benyu (Oldham Athletic
Abbas Amidu (Entag El Harby)
Talent Chawapiwa (Baroka)
Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah Stars)
Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu)
Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Singida United)
Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge)
Knowledge Musona (KV Oostende)
Evans Rusike (Supersport United)
Macaulley Bonne (Leyton Orient)
Tinotenda Kadewere (Djurgardens IF)
Kelly Lunga (Bonner SC)
Admiral Muskwe (Leicester City)