Zimbabwe last played against Pakistan in a two-match Test and ODI series © AFP
Jun 21, 2014
Pakistan on Saturday announced that they will not be hosting Zimbabwe for a bilateral series due to lack of funds, which was slated at the end of this year.
According to a report in the Zimbabwe Independent, the Future Tour Programme (FTP) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) says that the African nation is supposed to tour Bangladesh and Pakistan at the end of the year, and due to suspected financial issues they are not able to organise it.
Zimbabwe’s last Test series was against Pakistan last year, wherein they emerged victorious by 1-0 in a two-match Test series.
Zimbabwe coach Andy Waller said, “We are trying our best to give the team more cricket but unfortunately some of the series have had to be rescheduled. Pakistan will not be able to host us in Dubai as per schedule possibly due to financial challenges. That means we will have a gap again towards the end of the year. But we will play Bangladesh and that has been moved to December when we will play three Tests.”
The cancellation of the tour of Pakistan means Zimbabwe will now be touring only Bangladesh, wherein they would play few limited-overs matches and three Tests.
They are currently preparing for the One-Day International series at home against a resurgent Afghanistan side, which will take place next month. The four-match ODI series will be played at Bulawayo, where Zimbabwe will also face South Africa in the near future.
“We are looking at playing our strongest side against Afghanistan; what is important is for the team to play lots of cricket. Our goal is to make sure we play more cricket than we have been doing no matter the opposition. We want to particularly look at the combinations in the bowling department and we may look at a few younger players who have been putting their hands up,” Waller said.
The Zimbabwean cricketers haven’t played any international cricket in the last 11 months, and coach Waller is aware of the challenge that is ahead of him.
“It’s a big challenge; we would have wanted to play more cricket in between the last Test and South Africa, but we are going to work hard and make the best out of the training programme. We are playing two of the best sides in the world and we will aim to compete and if we can win one or two matches in the triangular series, then that would be a good achievement,” he said.
Zimbabwe squad: Brendan Taylor Hamilton Masakdaza, Vusi Sibanda, Tymcen Maruma, Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura, prosper Usteya, Natsai Mushangwe, Tinashe Panyangara, Tendai Chatara, Brian Vitori, Forster Mutizwa, Joylord Gumbi, Tafadzwa Kamungozi and Neville Gumbi.