from WELLINGTON TONI in Harare
HARARE – THE coronavirus (COVID-19) has dealt yet another blow to the Zimbabwe cricket following the cancellation of a proposed tour by Afghanistan.
It is the third setback suffered by the Zimbabweans since the outbreak of the pandemic, coming hot on the heels of the scourge flattening the tour of Australia and India.
The tour to Zimbabwe by Afghan had remained the only hope of salvaging Zimbabwe’s international season but the Southern African side has again been left in a lurch.
Darlington Majonga, the Zimbabwe Cricket spokesperson, confirmed the tour by the Middle East team was now off as Zimbabwe experienced a surge in infections.
Zimbabwe has confirmed 4 818 cases, including 104 deaths.
“The Afghan Cricket Board understands our predicament as all issues have to do with issues of health for players, officials and all stakeholders involved,” Majonga said.
Afghanistan has a much bigger COVID-19 crisis than Zimbabwe.
It has confirmed 37,424 cases, including 1,363 deaths.
The two cricket boards have because of the cancellation of the series of matches shifted their focus to the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup qualification matches.
“At some stage, the boards would have to sit down and engage on the Super League since this culminates in the 2023 ICC World Cup qualifiers,” Majonga said.
The Chevrons, as Zimbabwe’s senior cricket team is also affectionately known, have been training in anticipation of the government approving the tour of the Afghans.
They now have to disband until further notice.
Players had earlier suffered a setback after taking salary cuts of 15 percent as the postponement of tours impacted on revenues.
The senior women’s team has also been unable to play their qualifiers because of the pandemic.
They have been in camp since early this year. Zimbabwe cricket is emerging from years of crises characterised by boardroom squabbles and player unrest.
– CAJ News