Zimbabwe to host 1st international team in over a year

Zimbabwe are set to host an international team for the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic when they play two Tests and three T20 Internationals against Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club from April 21.

The matches will be played behind closed doors and mark the first international tour in Zimbabwe since January 2020 when Sri Lanka played two Test matches.

In the interim, tours by the Netherlands, Ireland, Afghanistan and India (three ODIs in August, 2020) were cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

Zimbabwe had also been struggling to play Test cricket after the International Cricket Council (ICC) had suspended it in July 2019. The suspension was lifted in October 2019 but they have not been able to play too many Test matches since.

Earlier this month, Zimbabwe finished a Test and T20I series against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Pakistan Cricket Board has been at the forefront of the revival of international cricket in the post-Covid-19 world and the tour of Zimbabwe is another step in that direction,” Zakir Khan, Pakistan’s director – international cricket, said on Sunday.

“We have always maintained that cricket and Covid-19 can co-exist in a safe and secure environment, and we continue to demonstrate this to ensure the game develops and flourishes in these difficult and challenging times. The tour of our men’s side at the back of our women’s team first-ever visit of Zimbabwe is a testimony that the two boards – the PCB and Zimbabwe Cricket – enjoy excellent relations and are always ready to lend support to each other,” he added

The T20 Internationals will be played between April 21 and 25 while the Tests will be played between April 29 and May 11.