Five ODIs in eight days February 9, 2006

Kenya's tour to Zimbabwe is on

Cricinfo staff

Kenya's will-they, won't-they tour of Zimbabwe has finally been confirmed after weeks of doubts. The two sides will play five ODIs in eight days.

Kenya will arrive in Harare on February 23 and will play back-to-back ODIs on the following Saturday and Sunday (Feb 25 and 26), with the third match on Wednesday (March 1) and the final two games on Friday and Saturday (March 3 and 4). It is expected that all five ODIs will be played at Harare Sports Club. None of the matches will be televised.

The Kenyans have been training hard under Roger Harper, their new coach, and will take a full-strength side, led by Steve Tikolo who has returned from playing club cricket in Bangladesh. The only doubt is Ravi Shah, their opening batsman who has been sidelined by a knee injury for more than a year and who has yet to resume training. Zimbabwe, whose players only ended their strike on Wednesday, have just resumed training under Kevin Curran.

Although Zimbabwe are ninth in the ICC One-Day Rankings, were they to lose to Kenya, who are 11th, then the gap between the two would narrow considerably. If, however, Zimbabwe could record a convincing series win then they would open a bigger gap between themselves and Bangladesh, who are in tenth.

There remains, however, some confusion regarding the tri-series in Bangladesh which is due to start almost as soon as the Zimbabwe-Kenya one ends. A source close to the Bangladesh board said that it had not received any communication from Zimbabwe Cricket regarding its participation and that it was assumed that Zimbabwe would not be taking part. But Lovemore Banda, the ZC communications manager, told Cricinfo that Zimbabwe would be in Dhaka for the tournament.