By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE national cricket team coach Lalchand Rajput has lamented the cancellation of his team’s tour to India in January next year, describing it as a lost opportunity for local cricketers to showcase their talent against some of the best players in the world.
The country’s hopes of being quickly reintegrated into the international fold suffered a major blow on Wednesday after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to replace Zimbabwe with Sri Lanka for the three-match T20I series to be held next year.
After Zimbabwe’s recent participation in the tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh despite the International Cricket Council (ICC) suspension, the players were confident of touring India in January.
Rajput feels it is an opportunity lost for his players.
“The players were looking forward to the India tour. Our players are naturally disappointed with the development,” Rajput told the Indian website, Sportstar.
“Playing against the best team in the world would have helped our players immensely. India has the best bowling unit at the moment and playing against them would have certainly helped us. It is quite unfortunate that we missed out on the opportunity.
“We are now playing tri-nation tournaments and that’s why we thought that the India tour will be on as well. But we don’t know what exactly happened.”
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) became the first full ICC member in history to be suspended after the global governing body took cognisance of perceived interference by the country’s government in the running of cricketing affairs.
That suspension has now cost ZC dearly with the BCCI inviting Sri Lanka instead for a three-match series in January next year in addition to the country’s recent omission from the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers.
“In the wake of Zimbabwe’s suspension by ICC, the BCCI invited Sri Lanka to participate in the three-match series. Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed their participation,” BCCI stated in a press release issued on Wednesday.
The Zimbabwe team is currently in Singapore where they are due to take on the hosts and Nepal in another upcoming T20 tri-series.