Zimbabwe granted permission to host Bangladesh amid pandemic

Publish: 7:34 PM, June 23, 2021 | Update: 7:34:PM, June 23, 2021

DHAKA, —The uncertainty over Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe was quelled finally as the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has granted Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) permission to host Bangladesh in July.

All kinds of sporting activity in Zimbabwe remains suspended as part of measures aimed at containing Covid-19.

Bangladesh’s tour in Zimbabwe includes one Test match, three ODIs and three Twenty20 international (T20I) games. The three-match ODI is the part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.

ZC is particularly grateful to SRC Chairman Mr Gerald Mlotshwa for personally fighting tooth and nail to ensure cricket was exempted from the Government directive to suspend all sporting activities in the country as part of new COVID-19 restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the virus, a statement of ZC said.

All the matches between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh will be played behind closed doors at Harare Sports Club, with no spectators allowed in the ground as part of the pandemic protocols that ZC has put in place at its facilities.

The tour will begin with the Test match scheduled for 7-11 July. Next up will be the ODI series pencilled in for 16, 18 and 20 July – those matches are part of the Super League that is serving as the main route for qualification for the 2023 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India.

The 13-team league competition will see the top seven sides, plus India as the hosts, qualify directly for the World Cup, while the remaining five teams, along with five Associate sides, will play in a qualifier tournament from which two other teams will go through to the global showcase.

After the Super League clash, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh will then face off in three T20I matches set for 23, 25 and 27 July.

Before the Test, the tourists will play a two-day practice match scheduled for 3-4 July as well as another warm-up game on July 14, two days ahead of the ODI series.

The tour will be held in a bio-secure bubble, which simply refers to an environment that is aimed at keeping the teams relatively isolated from the outside world so as to greatly minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection.