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Zim’s tour in doubt

Staff Writer

THE tour to Kenya by the Zimbabwe A cricket side is in jeopardy due to internal squabbles rocking the east African nation and a tight schedule on the domestic front.

NT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The national A side was supposed to tour Kenya after the home series with Pakistan A next month as part of plans to avail more games to local players, most of whom have struggled to sustain the pressure of Test cricket due to little first-class experience.

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) operations manager Qhubekani Nkala told IndependentSport that players also needed rest after the international season which started in September last year and ended this month.

“That tour (to Kenya) won’t probably materialise. It was an idea that was mooted largely because of the problems in Kenya and we also looked at our domestic cricket and we thought it was not going to be wise to tour there,” said Nkala.

Kenyan cricket has been rocked by controversy which has roped in the International Cricket Council. This week deposed Kenya Cricket Association chairman Jimmy Rayani and his successor Sharad Ghai were held in custody by police in the east African country on embezzlement charges.

Meanwhile, the one-day international triangular series involving Zimbabwe, New Zealand and India in August will go ahead as planned.

“It’s 95% confirmed. At my level everything is set, we are just waiting to confirm the venues. Basically, it’s now left for the board to finalise details of the triangular series,” Nkala said.

New Zealand will tour Zimbabwe in August to play in two Test matches. After that India will join for the ODI triangular series. On completion of the triangular series, the Indians will remain in Zimbabwe to play two Tests against the hosts.

On the domestic scene, defending Logan Cup champions Mashonaland wrapped up a thumping nine-wicket victory with a day-and-a-half to spare over Manicaland at Mutare Sports Club yesterday.

Manicaland batted first after winning the toss on the first day on Tuesday, and amassed 397 runs in their first innings.

In reply, Mashonaland were at one time in trouble at 160-5, but captain Tatenda Taibu came to their rescue with a patient 151 runs. Mashonaland ended on 459 all out.

Manicaland then crumbled dramatically in the second innings, being bowled out for a paltry 78 runs to leave Mashonaland needing only 16 runs to post a convincing win.

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