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August 11, 2010
Speculation over whether Ireland and Scotland would travel to Zimbabwe for their Intercontinental Cup matches in October continued despite reports that Ireland have not only already agreed to make the trip, but have also added three one-day internationals against the full Zimbabwe national side to their itinerary.
There had been a possibility that the Intercontinental Cup games against Zimbabwe would take place in South Africa, and there has been no official confirmation of a change of venue and no announcement from Cricket Ireland.
Zimbabwe withdrew from Test cricket in 2006 and were subsequently admitted to the Intercontinental Cup on the understanding that Zimbabwe XI's four home games would be played at neutral venues. But along with the relative political stability in the country, Zimbabwe Cricket has worked hard to improve its structures after divisive squabbling between players and administrators had wrecked cricket in the country.
"When we were admitted to the Intercontinental Cup, we agreed to play our home games elsewhere," ZC managing director Ozias Bvute told Associated Press. "Subsequently, we made the ICC aware that we were no longer comfortable playing our home games away since the conditions that existed when we agreed to play away no longer existed."
It appears increasingly likely that both Ireland and Scotland will indeed be travelling to Zimbabwe. Both Kenya and Afghanistan recently played their Intercontinental Cup matches in the country, and Zimbabwe also hosted Sri Lanka and India in a one-day tri-series in June this year.
"We are in discussions with the ICC, Zimbabwe Cricket and the governments in Edinburgh and London," said Roddy Smith, Cricket Scotland's chief executive. "If there is no directive from the UK government not to travel, we may go because we are part of the ICC family of nations."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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