Zimbabwe Cricket Still Hopeful Of Afghanistan Series

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) is still hoping to host Afghanistan in a five-match Twenty20 International series despite lingering doubts surrounding the visit by the Asian nation due to spike in Covid-19 infections, and the tightening of the measures to contain the spread of the virus by the Government.

The country’s senior national team cricket players have been training in different parts of the country in anticipation of a proposed visit to the country by Afghanistan after ZC made an application to the government for the tour to be given the approval to go ahead.

Prior to starting their preparations all national team players and players tested negative for the coronavirus while according to reports from Afghanistan, their players also tested negative for the novel virus last week following tests conducted by the Afghanistan Cricket Board.

ZC communications manager Darlington Majonga revealed that an agreement has been reached between ZC and the Afghanistan Cricket Board for the tour, which isn’t part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP), to proceed if it is cleared by the Government.

ZC is also planning to have a domestic competition for clubs as well as games for the women with provisional fixtures for these already in place if they are given permission to host matches.

“We have agreed with Afghanistan to proceed with the tour that we had both committed to prior to the lockdown. However, the tour can only happen if approved by the government and we have since written to the authorities asking for permission to host the event. The same applies to all other cricket activities, including a national club competition that we have been planning. For now, we can only wait for the government’s response to our application,” said Majonga.

Following the recent cancellation of series against Ireland, India, and Australia, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Zimbabwe is desperate for the upcoming visit by Afghanistan to be given the greenlight.

However, the local cricket governing body faces a tough task to get approval for the series to go ahead.

The Zimbabwe Government last week announced it would be tightening the lockdown restrictions in response to the “worrying” statistics which had exceeded 1 600 on Sunday.

The reopening of schools for examination classes scheduled for July 28 has been deferred in light of the rising number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in the Southern African nation.