By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S national women’s cricket team is set to end two years of inactivity when it hosts Pakistan for three 50-over matches and two T20 matches in Harare next month.
The series, which will mark the first time the Lady Chevrons will be involved in international cricket since May 2019, was announced by both Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Saturday.
Pakistan are expected to make a stop-over in Harare after their current tour of South Africa which runs until February 5.
The proposed visit by the Pakistan women is however subject to approval from the government of Zimbabwe due to the Covid-19 restrictions currently in place.
ZC revealed that the series will be held in a bio-secure bubble with no spectators allowed at the match venue.
“The Pakistan senior women’s team are currently touring South Africa and agreed to stop over in Harare after Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) engaged the Pakistan Cricket Board prior to the latest Covid-19 lockdown restrictions imposed by the government,” ZC said in a statement.
“But ZC, having already successfully hosted domestic competitions in a controlled environment, will host the Pakistan women series in a bio-secure bubble in order to greatly minimise the risk of the coronavirus spreading.
“Stringent protocols for the proposed tour are already in place, with the ZC Covid-19 Committee, which includes the organisation’s chief medical officer Dr Solomon Madzogo, meeting twice a week to ensure all is in place for a safe series.”
All matches are scheduled to be played at Harare Sports Club, starting with the one-dayers on 11, 13 and 15 February.
The T20 games are pencilled in for 18 and 20 February.
Both Zimbabwe and Pakistan will be using the tour as part of their preparations for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021, a 10-team tournament that will be held in June and July.
The top three teams from that qualifying event will progress to the 50-over ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, ZC has set up regional men’s and women’s competitions that will see Northerns and Southerns sides clashing across all formats of the game.
With all domestic competitions currently on hold due to the Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the government, the regional games will be held in a bio-secure bubble and will play a crucial role in preparing the national teams for important international assignments.
The Zimbabwe senior men’s national team is set to tour Afghanistan next month for two Test matches and three T20 international games.
On the other hand, the rusty Zimbabwe senior women’s national team players are in need of serious preparations before they can face their Pakistan counterparts in three one-day matches and two T20s next month.
So, to make up for the time lost due to the pandemic and best prepare the national teams for the international assignments, ZC has put in place plans for the regional games that are also set to become a permanent fixture on the domestic calendar.
These games will basically serve as training camps for the national sides.