MUMBAI — India will most likely rest its top stars for the short cricket tour to Zimbabwe scheduled in July.
— Hindu Times/CSA
The Board of Control for Cricket in India, according to an official, is committed to play three one-day matches against Zimbabwe, although there has been talk that the tour has been “put on hold”.
The Champions Trophy in England and the subsequent tri-series in the West Indies in July could be physically demanding for the Indian cricketers.
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor says he is banking on compatriot Duncan Fletcher to persuade the India cricket board not to pull the plug on a tour of Zimbabwe scheduled for July.
India will play in the Champions Trophy and a tri-series in the West Indies shortly before the scheduled tour of Zimbabwe between June 28 to July 11, and officials say they are concerned about a “fatigue factor”.
But the captain has appealed to Indian coach Fletcher, a Zimbabwean, suggesting taking the Indians to Harare would provide a “happy homecoming” for him.
Fletcher’s fielding coach is Trevor Penny, another Zimbabwean.
“I don’t know whether Fletcher can decide, but he should convince the Indian cricket board to send its team over here. It would be a happy home coming for him,” Taylor said.
“It’s disappointing news that they may not tour. To play against the Indian team is always a big challenge and we would like to accept it.”
Zimbabwe are due to play three one-day internationals (ODIs) with India, but discussions were underway to increase the Future Tours Programme matches to five.
Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday announced that the South Africa women’s emerging squad will be touring Zimbabwe from 22 to 28 May.
The team, coached by the Momentum Proteas women’s coach, Hilton Moreeng, will take part in a two-match ODI and T20 series against Zimbabwe Women in Harare.
The squad will consist of the most promising players in the country, as well as a few members of the senior team who will assist the juniors who have very little to no international experience.
The tour will also assist Zimbabwe with their preparations for the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifiers, which will be held in Ireland this July. It will be the emerging squad’s first tour since their participation in the ICC Africa Tournament in Tanzania in December 2012.
CSA is also in negotiations with the England Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket for the opportunity to host the England Women’s Emerging squad as well as Sri Lanka later this year in the hopes of giving this team more international exposure than ever before.
CSA transformation manager Max Jordaan said: “This tour presents us with a unique opportunity to grow our talent base for women.
“The opportunities provided at this level will ensure a steady flow of players better prepared for international competition when their time arrives. We expect our team to give a good account of themselves in the short series that will be held in Harare.”
21 May – South Africa arrive in Zimbabwe, practice scheduled for the afternoon.
23 May – 1st ODI
24 May – Rest Day
25 May – 2nd ODI
26 May – Rest Day
27 May – 1st T20
28 May – 2nd T20
29 May – South Africa depart Zimbabwe