ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) is trying to lure foreign sides to boost first-class cricket in the country following a debilitating crisis that knocked do
mestic cricket for six.
A week after dissolving traditional provincial structures, ZC has targeted to import at least two top club sides from Asia to help revive first-class competition left collapsing after over 30 experienced players either retired or left the country.
“ZC is in discussion with a number of cricket institutions with the willingness to send clubs to participate in first-class cricket in the country,” a source told IndependentSport yesterday.
The source believes the clubs might come from Pakistan or India.
Plans are afoot also to bring the Bangladesh A side for a month to play in Zimbabwe’s provincial competition.
It could not be established whether ZC had secured funds to bankroll the foreign clubs as well as the Bangladeshis.
ZC managing director Ozias Bvute could not be drawn into discussing the foreign clubs issue, only saying the union had tabled major plans to revive the local game.
He said ZC envisaged resuscitating the national league, while the recently affiliated provinces will play in a developmental league.
Meanwhile, ZC’s bid to save Zimbabwe’s tour to Pakistan planned for September have failed.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyah Khan this week had indicated hosting Zimbabwe for the rescheduled three-match one-day international series in September was not “feasible”.
The PCB made its decision after a meeting with television rights holders and other sponsors felt hosting Zimbabwe would not be financially viable.
Pakistan wanted to host Zimbabwe for a full tour, including money-spinning Test matches as per the original schedule.
However, Zimbabwe are not playing Test cricket after withdrawing their status in January.
Zimbabwe will instead visit to face Pakistan A in four-day games as they get ready to return to Test cricket in February.