Zimbabwe's Test future November 10, 2009

Cricket South Africa sets out Zimbabwe plan

Cricinfo staff

Cricket South Africa and Zimbabwe Cricket have been working together on a three-year plan to form the cornerstone of Zimbabwe's ambition to return to the Test arena.

Gerald Majola, the CSA chief executive, and his opposite number Ozias Bvute met on Monday in Johannesburg to discuss various issues relating to Zimbabwe, who are currently taking part in a short two-match ODI series against South Africa.

Zimbabwe took self-imposed exile from the Test game in 2005 after it became clear they couldn't field a competitive team, but are now focussing on returning to the five-day game after improvements within the country. At the height of Zimbabwe's problems, South Africa withdrew their support but have now pledged to help their neighbours.

"The plan, which targets grassroots cricket up to the national team, and the administration of Zimbabwe cricket, will now be work-shopped by CSA's cricket committee, the chief executive's committee and will finally make its way to the CSA board meeting next February for final ratification," Majola said.

"We had a constructive session yesterday and now we look forward to gaining further insight before presenting the three-year plan to the board. Both boards are determined to find a successful and sustainable structure for Zimbabwe cricket."

Bvute was also encouraged by the outcome of the meetings. "We are happy with the progress made with input from both parties," he said. "We shared ideas and looked for ways that will positively impact Zimbabwe Cricket. We are confident that jointly we will come up with a long term solution."

ZC president Peter Chingoka added: "Zimbabwe has a wealth of cricket talent and we want to turn them into stars. Cricket South Africa have strong development structures and we look forward to learning from them as we continue unearthing the stars of the future."

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  • David on November 11, 2009, 20:10 GMT

    I can see the value of Zimbabwe, Ireland, Bangladesh and perhaps even the West Indies in their current state being involved in a round robin arrangement playing test cricket. I see nothing to be gained however by granted Ireland test status and chucking them in as cannon fodder against Australia and India - who would turn up to watch such a turkey shoot? To expand test cricket there need to be more sides playing over a long period of time - but lets keep them away from the top seven test nations for the time being - multiple innings defeats are no good to either the conquerors or the conquered.

  • Terry on November 11, 2009, 0:12 GMT

    I think it is time that ICC grants test status to Zimbabwe, Ireland and another country. 12 test teams would allow and encourage the formation of a 2 tier system, either 6 & 6 (over 2 years) or 8 & 4 (over 4 years with friendlies between top and bottom tier). ICC could expand the current 3 tier 4-5 day Cricket (Test, ICup, IShield) to 4 or even 5 tiers (1-6,7-12,13-18,19-24,25-48) for all 3 forms of the game, with promotion & relegation between each level. A 5 tier system would encourage lower ranked teams to perform in all 3 forms to get promoted without political interference. The tiers need to be split so that the top of each tier has teams that skill wise fit into the top group. Current skill groupings appear as followings [A] 1-8, [B] 9-10, [C] 11-18, [D] 19-44, [E] 45+

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