Zimbabwe’s national cricket team is set to play more Test cricket this year after over a year without playing the longer version of the game, the local cricket governing body’s board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said yesterday.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Mukuhlani told Standardsport in an interview yesterday that Zimbabwe had Tests lined-up against New Zealand and Sri Lanka at home in July and August in what would be a busy home season for coach Dav Whatmore’s charges.
“We will definitely play more Test cricket this year.We simply can’t afford not to. We have New Zealand coming sometime in July for a tour which will include two Tests, while the visit by Sri Lanka will also include Test cricket as well. We are just finalising the schedule and it will be released soon,” he said.
Mukuhlani also revealed that Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) was still in discussions with their Bangladesh counterparts for another Test series either in Zimbabwe or in the subcontinent nation.
Zimbabwe and Bangladesh were originally scheduled to play two Tests in January, but the two boards agreed to shelve the matches to a later period to allow the two teams to concentrate on limited-overs cricket ahead of the World Twenty20 competition held in India.
“We are still in discussions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board because if you remember, we were supposed to play two Tests against them last year, but we had to set them aside in favour of T20s to give the teams ample time to prepare for the World Twenty20 competition in
India. So they owe us two Test matches and what is left is just to decide if we will play them here or away in Bangladesh,” Mukuhlani said.
The last time Zimbabwe played the longer version of the game was in November 2014 against Bangladesh in a disastrous tour in which the national side was whitewashed in five one-day internationals (ODIs) and three Tests.
Since then, Zimbabwe have concentrated mainly on ODI cricket in an effort to gain more ranking points to avoid going through a qualifying tournament for the 2019 World Cup, where only the top eight ranked sides by the end of next year qualify automatically.
However, this year’s schedule is expected to include both Test and limited overs matches.