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Cricket: Zimbabwe heads for hectic 2013

THE Zimbabwe national cricket team could be set for a busy 2013 season if two postponed tours from this year are successfully rescheduled for the coming year.

Report by Kevin Mapasure

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) postponed its home series against Bangaldesh originally slated for August while Pakistan requested the postponement of their visit to Zimbabwe scheduled for end of year.

Negotiations are on between the respective boards to have both series moved to next year, but according to the Future Tours programme Zimbabwe already have three other series in the West Indies, and home tours against India and Sri Lanka.

At the beginning of the year Zimbabwe have a tough, away three Test series and five ODI series in the West Indies which marks their second away tour since returning to Test Cricket after touring New Zealand at the beginning of the year.

Zimbabwe has generally struggled with the demands of playing away from home after some decent performances on home soil.

The team suffered white wash defeats in all three formats against New Zealand, and also hugely disappointed at the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka recently.

After plenty of action upon Test return in 2011 where Bangladesh, New Zealand and Pakistan toured the country, fans were starved in 2012 as where there was no home Test.

In June next year the cricketing world converges in England for the Champions League 50-over tournament, but it is a party to which Zimbabwe is not invited.

But there is still a chance some nations may opt to shun the Future Tours Programme.

It is not yet clear whether Sri Lanka’s tour to Zimbabwe will go ahead after a raft of changes to accommodate T-20 leagues some of which have already claimed the South Africa-Sri Lanka
series.

A Sri Lankan newspaper, Sunday Times, claimed this week that Sri Lanka’s visit to Zimbabwe had been shelved.

But according to Cricinfo, the agreement between Cricket South Africa and the Sri Lankan board means that after completing their tour of Australia which includes three Tests, Sri Lanka have only four Test matches —two against Bangladesh and two against Zimbabwe — scheduled between January and December next year.

A two-Test series against West Indies that would have potentially clashed with the 2013 IPL was scrapped last month.

ZC media manager Shingai Rhuhwaya said deliberations with respective boards were on- going but nothing had been finalised yet.

“It’s an ongoing process; we will continue deliberating with the respective boards, we have to work around things like the Indian Premier League,” said Rhuhwaya.

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