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South Africa T20s may not be televised, says ZC

Firdose Moonda

April 17, 2012

Comments: 9 | Text size: A | A

Brendan Taylor plays an inside-out shot, New Zealand v Zimbabwe, 2nd Twenty20 international, Hamilton, February 14, 2012
Brendan Taylor in action during Zimbabwe's recent tour of New Zealand © AFP
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South Africa's five T20s against Zimbabwe in Harare in June may not be televised as Zimbabwe Cricket is unlikely to be able to afford the costs involved. The matches will be played between June 20 and 24, in accordance with South Africa's request earlier this year. The tour is an addition to the Zimbabwe board's planned budget, which will impact on its ability to provide television coverage.

"It will cost us a lot of money to get a broadcast deal and because this was not part of our initial plans, we have not budgeted for it," Ozias Bvute, managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket, told ESPNcricinfo. "But South Africa are our neighbours and they requested this from us, so we will host the matches. As long as it is cost neutral, we can make it happen." So far, the only costs Zimbabwe Cricket will incur are the South Africa team's hotel expenses.

Zimbabwe's board is on a tight budget and made a loss on all three incoming tours hosted during the 2011-12 season. It remains committed to seeking out more competition as part of the plan to re-establish the team at Test level and will likely also host an A tour later in the winter.

The five T20s will not be recognised as internationals but have instead been given practice match status because the visit is not part of the Future Tours Programme. They were organised on special request after Gary Kirsten, South Africa's coach, asked to play more 20-over fixtures before the World Twenty20 in September. All five fixtures will be played in the afternoon to "accommodate the shorter daylight hours", according to Zimbabwe Cricket.

South Africa will arrive in Harare on June 18 and play one practice game before the back-to-back engagements start on June 20. South Africa have not been to Zimbabwe since August 2007, for an ODI series, and are not scheduled to play Tests against their neighbours until 2014, although they have sent various A teams to play first-class matches and in tri-series, as well as hosted Zimbabwe in 2010.

The South Africa visit will mark the end of a five-month break for Zimbabwe, who last played in early February on their tour of New Zealand. Zimbabwe do not have any international engagements over the winter but are due to host Bangladesh in the 2012-13 season.

South Africa and Zimbabwe are in the same group for the World T20, which also includes Sri Lanka. South Africa have not won an ICC trophy since 1998 and Kirsten has been tasked with changing that.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by BonyongoDestroyer on (April 20, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Surely SA could fly to Bulawayo, play one or two matches there, hop on bus a for 2 hours to Kwekwe where by all accounts their ground has been improved since the advent of the Midwest Rhinos involvment. Play a match there. Spend a night at a nearby safari lodge, and then roll into Harare for the last two matches...

A little bit of team bonding, the people of Kwekwe get to see a real international match...

But no - instead, 5 days 5 matches in Harare whilst holed up at the Monomatapa Hotel...Ground Hog day - its just so...erm, boring?

Such a shame that cricket tours are no longer that - real tours.

Posted by Gizza on (April 19, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

@WarVdm, haha I agree. When it comes to a 5 match T20 series, the best you can hope for is 2-2 before the last game otherwise it will become very, very boring. But considering it is South Africa vs Zimbabwe, the likely result is 5-0 or maybe 4-1 so the last few games are going to be quite irrelvant.

Posted by Venki_indian on (April 18, 2012, 13:27 GMT)

when it comes to money every country wants to play cricket with india...but nobody likes IPL and BCCI...

Posted by Venki_indian on (April 18, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

@asif2311 What a joke!!! :) why should BCCI spend?..some countries in such a position that they are not even able to telecast and Boards like ECB and CA are talking abt DRS..

Posted by WarVdm on (April 18, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

5 matches in 5 days? Even if they are 20/20's, that is still stupid. Talk about an overkill! I'm sure that the players will be extremely motivated for the last two matches, extremely motivated....

Posted by   on (April 18, 2012, 2:19 GMT)

As a cricket fan, I was really sad with the situation like this in world cricket. Already cricket is played competitively by only 10-15 countries and even among them almost 50%-60% face financial problems.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

@asif2311 : its become almost fashionable to blame the BCCI for everything. Im pretty sure the BCCI will now be blamed for World War II and global warming. To expect a cricket board to help another is absurd. However, I do agree that BCCI should host ALL Test playing nations.. no reason it shouldnt... Besides, the Indian Test Team will be able to compete with Zim in home conditions.. it will be a mouth watering contest

Posted by Nutcutlet on (April 17, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

Clearly, Zimbabwe Cricket is in need of a rich friend! Now, we all know which board has $$$$ flowing out of its ears, and Zim. will be financially bound (with hoops of steel) to support everyone's favourite board, if that august organisation were to bail ZC out of this embarrassment. This is the cynical world in which we live. Now, watch this (as yet untelevised) space.

Posted by asif2311 on (April 17, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

i wished BCCI could have spent the ipl money on something like this....helping ZCU as courtesy....even cricket now have a vast gap between the rich and the poor playing nations....4get abt helping...BCCI is not going to host either zim or bang for any full tours in the next 9 yrs which is absolutely pathetic....thats another reason why i hate ipl as its only helping the frenchiseees and rajiv shukla

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