HomeSportCricketGood tidings for Zimbabwe cricket

Good tidings for Zimbabwe cricket

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Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has welcomed the decision by the New Zealand government to allow the national cricket team to tour the country after lifting the travel ban on visas, just as Pakistan announced it could host Sri Lanka in the country.

With Zimbabwe returning to Test cricket later this year, there is no doubt the two men at the helm of the organisation, chairman Peter Chingoka and managing director Ozias Bvute, are singing from the same hymn book.

Chingoka told NewsDay Sport on Monday: “We are an apolitical organisation promoting cricket. I am satisfied that the ICC Future Tours programme is prevailing.”

Last week, there was also news that Pakistan is considering playing Sri Lanka in three Tests, five one-day internationals and a T20 match in Zimbabwe.

Pakistan has been a virtual no-go zone for international teams since March 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team, killing eight people and wounding seven visiting players and their assistant coach. Since then, Pakistan have played home series in England, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

Last month, Sri Lanka refused to tour Pakistan for their scheduled series of three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international in October through November, instead offering their own stadiums for the series.

Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said Zimbabwe could be an option.
“Yes, we are considering the option of playing Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe, where we can make a profit because of low costs there,” Sarwar told AFP.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully dropped an opposition to a New Zealand cricket team touring Zimbabwe in October and accepting a return trip by a Zimbabwean team.

“New Zealand Cricket has advised us of their intention to travel to Zimbabwe which, I think, is in October. They have asked us whether we have any concerns about that and, of course, made the point to us that the expectation will be that Zimbabwe is able to make a return visit.

“The return visit runs smack into the travel sanctions that operate in relation to sporting tours from Zimbabwe. So I have taken some advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and what I’ve said to New Zealand Cricket is that we have no concerns about them touring Zimbabwe.

“We have therefore adopted the position that we are prepared to issue visas for the Zimbabwe team to come to New Zealand and to provide an exemption from the sanctions for that purpose.

“That is all conditional, of course, on the situation in Zimbabwe not deteriorating in a significant way.”

ZC has named a 32-man training squad for the forthcoming tours against Australia A and South Africa, with coach Alan Butcher, his assistant Steve Mangongo, bowling coach Heath Streak and batting coach Grant Flower.

Zimbabwe training squad:

Sikander Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Maxwell Chifamba, Elton Chigumbura, Mike Chinouya, Charles Coventry, Graeme Cremer, Terrence Duffin,
Tochi Enwerem, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Greg Lamb, Lovemore Manatsa, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingirai Masakadza,
Tinotenda Mawoyo, Keegan Meth, Christoper Mpofu, Natsayi Mushangwe, Forster Mutizwa, Njabulo Ncube, Ian Nicholson, Tinashe Panyangara, Ray Price, Ed Rainsford, Vusi Sibanda, Tatenda Taibu, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori

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