Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has proposed a triangular One-Day International (ODI) series with neighbours South Africa and Australia next year as prospects of Sri Lanka touring the country this year dwindled further.
According to the Future Tours programme schedule, Australia is due to visit Zimbabwe for a three-match ODI series with the hosts and the Proteas soon after two Tests, three ODIs and two T-20s.
But to bring more competitiveness and interest, the three nations are exploring the possibility of a triangular series ahead of the T-20s and Tests between Zimbabwe and the Proteas.
ZC managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa confirmed to IndependentSport this week that they were exploring the idea.
“We have proposed a triangular series with South Africa and Australia next year after the T-20 World Cup which will be played in Bangladesh,” said Mukondiwa.
“We are exploring that option so that it’s more competitive and lucrative. So the World Cup and the visit by the two nations are the major events for us next year.”
The triangular series would be more lucrative and ensure Zimbabwe benefits from the financial rewards.
In 2011 “A” sides from Australia and South Africa toured Zimbabwe for an ODI triangular series before Australia engaged the hosts in four-day matches to help them prepare for the Test return that year.
Mukondiwa said ZC was also exploring a proposal to host Ireland for four-day matches.
“It is one of the programmes that have been proposed for full members to engage associate members. So Ireland is one of them and depending on the schedule, playing them is a possibility.
“We played them a couple of years ago and we would be happy to engage them again, but it all depends on the calendar as to where we can slot that in.”
While the prospects of hosting cricketing giants South Africa and Australia would be good news for Zimbabwe’s longsuffering cricket fans, hopes of hosting Sri Lanka next month seem to have evaporated.
A ZC official told IndependentSport that the respective boards were considering new dates after agreeing to reschedule.
Sri Lanka has a busy programme early next year and it is unlikely to tour Zimbabwe before South Africa in July.
That would mean after an ongoing second Test against Pakistan set to end tomorrow, Zimbabwe’s next Test assignment would only come after 11 months.
Sri Lanka visits New Zealand in November before hosting Bangladesh between February and March 2014, with participation in the T-20 World Cup preceding the subcontinent giants’ tour of England between May and June.