Zim-Sri Lanka Tests could be re­placed by tri-series

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

JUST as Zim­babwe are get­ting back to Test cricket, they face the prospect of another lengthy stint with­out matches in the long­est for­mat.

ESP­Ncricinfo has learned that Sri Lanka’s tour of Zim­babwe in Oc­to­ber-Novem­ber, pen­cilled into the FTP as two Tests, three ODIs and a T20I, may in­stead con­sist of a tri­an­gu­lar ODI series fea­tur­ing Sri Lanka and West Indies.

A source said that “Zim­babwe never re­ally in­tended for Sri Lanka to play Tests as it is not fi­nan­cially vi­able,” and that a three-team, 50-over com­pe­ti­tion is “def­i­nitely be­ing planned”.

Should that hap­pen, Zim­babwe could go with­out Tests for another 11 months, with their next Tests sched­uled as away matches in Sri Lanka in July 2017.

They will also go 14 months with­out home Tests, un­til West Indies visit in Oc­to­ber 2017. Al­ready, Zim­babwe have gone 20 months with­out a Test — the gap be­tween their series against Bangladesh in 2014 and the on­go­ing series against New Zealand — and al­most two years with­out a Test at home, since last host­ing South Africa in Au­gust 2014.

The costs of a home tour for Zim­babwe Cricket (ZC) are crip­pling, not only be­cause of their grow­ing debt, but be­cause of the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try as a whole. With busi­nesses strug­gling to sur­vive, ZC bat­tle for lo­cal spon­sor­ship. They only turn a profit when host­ing In­dia or Eng­land, but luck­ily have had two suc­ces­sive years of lim­ited-overs cricket against In­dia to tide them over so far. — ESP­NCricinfo

Zim­babwe bowler Michael Chi­nouya in ac­tion against New Zealand

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