BY Kevin Mapasure
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has hit out at Cricket Australia over the latter’s refusal to play a Test match or increase the number of One Day Internationals (ODI) with Zimbabwe in their tour Down Under this August.
The two nations are set to square off in three ODIs in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Super League and Zimbabwe, who rarely get an opportunity to play the cricket giants, were hoping to use the opportunity to play red ball cricket in Australia.
Their request for a Test match was rebuffed while even requests to have more white ball matches over and above the three Super league matches was not entertained.
A ZC official described Australia as ‘arrogant’ and “selfish” as Zimbabwe will have to travel all the way just for three matches.
The matches lead towards qualification for the 2023 World Cup and are thus important for both teams.
Zimbabwe last toured Australia in the 2003-04 season where they played two Tests as well as a One Day tri series that also included India.
The official said the tour itself does not make sense and they could have opted out were it not part of the World Cup qualification route.
“This tour to Australia doesn’t make sense, how can our boys travel that far just for the three ODIs? The Australians’ attitude does not conform to the spirit of cricket. Cricket has become commercialised and bilateral and the big nations only want to play teams where they can make a profit, fine and understood but because of the Super League, it simply means Zimbabwe is now part of Australia’s FTP (Future Tours Programme) and we say let’s have our bilateral tours around that Super League since we already have to play each other, they don’t want,” complained the official.
“With such an attitude how is cricket going to be a global sport? We don’t get to play Australia that much and now we have this opportunity, yet they want to stick to the three Super League matches alone. This trip doesn’t make sense at all and if it wasn’t for the points, the boys wouldn’t be going that far just to play three ODIs. They (Australia) are arrogant and selfish, they won’t even entertain any discussion, yet the ICC wants the smaller nations to grow by playing the bigger nations. The ICC wants nations such as Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan to have that opportunity to play the bigger nations so that they can develop but some of these bigger nations are not interested, they just want to play among themselves.”
Zimbabwe have 35 points after playing 18 matches and sit on position 14 but would need to finish in the top seven to get an automatic ticket to the World Cup which will be hosted by India.
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