June 19, 2012

South African cricket

Zimbabwe tri-series not pointless

Abhishek Mukherjee

Neil Manthorp, writing for Supersport, tells us why the Twenty20 tri-series in Zimbabwe should not be abandoned as meaningless.

Bangladesh and a weakened South Africa. And it doesn't even have official status. Couldn't get much more meaningless than that. Right? Wrong. In 20 years of covering international cricket, I can barely recall a bilateral or triangular series in which there has been more fun, determination and 'point' for all the players involved here.

Zimbabwe survive on scraps and the chance to play against the 'big boys' comes around all too infrequently. There are young and gifted players emerging all the time in this country and the only real chance for them to learn is in real match situations. Bangladesh were so desperate for international cricket they would have played a series against any 'B' team, in any country and any format. They had three invitations knocked back. You don't suppose they're sitting in Harare thinking "why are we here?" do you? And what of South Africa? If any of Kallis, Steyn, de Villiers or Morne Morkel were here, I would have jumped on the 'pointless' bandwagon. But they're not. They're resting.

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