FOR the first time in more than two decades, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) will host not just one but two English county teams in March.
Having accepted ZC’s invitation, Derbyshire and Durham will play across three formats in matches against local select opposition in Bulawayo and Harare respectively.
The last county team to officially visit Zimbabwe was Worcestershire in March-April 1997.
Led by former Zimbabwe captain and coach Dave Houghton who is their head of cricket, Derbyshire will be touring the country for the first time and will face a Zimbabwe Select side in two T20 matches, two 50-over games and two three-day fixtures at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Durham, who toured Zimbabwe in the 1991/92 season, will play two three-day matches versus the Chairman’s XI at Harare Sports Club in the capital.
ZC director of cricket Hamilton Masakadza hailed the county tours as a massive boost for the game in Zimbabwe.
“We are thrilled to be hosting Derbyshire and Durham. The magnitude and importance of their visit cannot be overemphasised,” he said.
“While our players will learn big lessons and gain invaluable experience from playing against such top opposition, we believe this marks the beginning of a new chapter that will hopefully see more English county teams touring Zimbabwe as that will go a long way in preparing our players for the rigours of high-level and international cricket.”
Zimbabwe Select versus Derbyshire:
DATE MATCH VENUE
14 March 2020 1st T20 Queens Sports Club
15 March 2020 2nd T20 Queens Sports Club
17 March 2020 1st One-Dayer Queens Sports Club
19 March 2020 2nd One-Dayer Queens Sports Club
21-23 March 2020 1st Three-Dayer Queens Sports Club
25-27 March 2020 2nd Three-Dayer Queens Sports Club
Chairman’s XI versus Durham:
DATE MATCH VENUE
19-21 March 2020 1st Three-Dayer Harare Sports Club
25-27 March 2020 2nd Three-Dayer Harare Sports Club