Zimbabwe Cricket reacts to India series cancellation

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) has met with mixed feelings, a decision by India to cancel the three-match ODI series in late August owing to Covid-19 concerns.

However, there is confidence the scheduled series which is part of the 2020-2021 ICC World Cup Super League will be rescheduled to later this year.

Speaking for the first time after the news of the cancellation by the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India on Friday, ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani told that while his board was hoping to host India, it understood the pandemic situation worldwide.

“We were looking forward to hosting India, but with the world still in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI’s decision to put the tour on hold is understandable,” Mukuhlani said.

BCCI on Friday cancelled the tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe which were set for the next couple of months.

While Zimbabwe was hopeful that the visit by India which had been scheduled for August would go ahead as scheduled, BCCI’s decision was largely expected since the Indian team has not had much practice of late.

They have been indoors since the Covid-19-induced lockdown in March.

“Since the postponed series is part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, we shall work with the BCCI to seek new dates for the tour when we are all in a position to plan for the future with greater certainty,” the ZC head remarked.

With cricket being one of the sports allowed to resume training since it is classified as a low risk sport in Zimbabwe, cricketers will resume training this Monday.

ZC had 40 individuals, players and support staff tested for Covid-19 last week in preparation for the start of training sessions.

“Everything is in place for players to resume training, players training in smaller groups,” said ZC director of cricket Hamilton Masakadza.

“We have had 40 people, the players and support staff tested for Covid-19.

“For now, they will be doing running and cardio work, that is physical training for the first few weeks then we move to the actual training.”

The former Zimbabwe skipper stated that since matches were not allowed for now, they will re-apply to the Sports and Recreation Commission to be given permission to have a men’s National League for clubs as well as women’s domestic competition during the winter period.

ZC have kept alive plans to have Afghanistan visit the country in July for five Twenty20 Internationals once the country’s lockdown regulations are eased.

Zimbabwe is also scheduled to embark on a tour of Australia in August.