DESPERATE for game time, Zimbabwe have secured a date with another Associate member the Netherlands for three One-Day Internationals in June before proceeding to Sri Lanka for a Test and limited-overs series.
The matches against the Netherlands scheduled for June 20, 22 and 24 will come just days after Zimbabwe’s two ODIs against Scotland in Edinburgh.
The Scotland fixtures are pencilled in for June 15 and 17 with Zimbabwe expected to leave for the Netherlands the next day.
The Chevrons have not played enough cricket in the calendar and this has impacted on their competitiveness on the international stage.
Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Wilfred Mukondiwa welcomed the programme against the Associate sides, which he said will provide the Chevrons with the much-needed game time.
“We are pleased to confirm Zimbabwe will be touring the Netherlands as part of a potentially exciting and competitive five-game programme that will also see us visiting Scotland for two of the matches,” he said.
“While the tour will give our boys the much-needed game time and a feel of unfamiliar conditions, it will also go a long way in preparing our team for the tougher series away to Sri Lanka.’’
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe were yesterday picked in Pool C of the third edition of the Africa Cup tournament in South Africa between August and September.
Zimbabwe are one of the three countries that have been invited to the tournament alongside Namibia and Kenya.
Chevrons have featured in the previous editions of the tournament and this year they will face Free State, KZN Inland and Boland Pool C to be played at Mangaung Oval from September 9-11.
Pool A which comprise Easterns, Western Province, South West Districts and Namibia will get the ball rolling at the Sahara Park, Willowmoore from August 25-27.
According to the draw conducted by Cricket South Africa Chief executive Haroon Lorgat yesterday, Kenya will be in Pool D together with Northern Cape, KZN and Border while Pool B will be made up of North West, Northerns, Gauteng and defending champions Eastern Province.
The semi-finals and final for pool winners will be played at the Diamond Oval on the weekend of September 24-25.
“The Africa Cup is finding a coveted place in our domestic season and once again it will launch the 2017 /18 season and if past experiences are anything to go by we can again look forward to highly entertaining and competitive cricket.
“We wanted this competition to bridge the gap between senior provincial and franchise cricket and to aid the development of cricket on the African continent. I believe we are achieving both aims.
“This tournament has become an important part of our development pipeline. Heinrich Klaasen, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi and Andile Phehlukwayo all played in the inaugural Africa T20 Cup in 2015 and have gone on to represent the Standard Bank Proteas this past season.
“I would like to thank Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya for once again accepting our invitations to participate in this tournament,” said Lorgat.
Africa Cup draw:
Pool A: Easterns, WP, SWD, Namibia
Pool B: North West, Northerns, Gauteng, EP
Pool C: Free State, KZN Inland, Zimbabwe, Boland
Pool D: Northern Cape, KZN, Kenya, Borde