Afghanistan in Zimbabwe 2013-14 January 9, 2014

Afghanistan's Zimbabwe tour cancelled


Afghanistan's tour to Zimbabwe has been cancelled, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The Associate country was due to visit the African nation later this month for a handful of ODIs and Twenty20s but financial concerns in Zimbabwe have made the tour untenable. Zimbabwe were reportedly seeking to play the matches in Bangladesh but that plan too has been scuppered.

A source close to Zimbabwe Cricket revealed that the "demands of domestic cricket led to the cancellation of the tour." Zimbabwe's domestic players have been on strike since late December due to non-payment. The players have insisted they will not take the field until they receive their salaries, which means there is no fixed date for the resumption of the first-class league.

Zimbabwe Cricket is in severe financial crisis and sources close to the board have revealed they have asked the ICC for yet another loan. A planned visit by Sri Lanka in October 2013 had already been postponed on ZC's request because of a lack of funds.

However, Afghanistan were to bear their logistics expenses in Zimbabwe on their own, so the cancellation seems to be indicative of a wider problem. Zimbabwe's domestic players are on strike due to non-payment of their dues by the board. They did not play the last round of first-class matches before the Christmas break and the indications are they will take the field this year only after they are paid.

With Afghanistan's trip being called off, Zimbabwe will have no practice before the World Twenty20 in March. They would have gone almost six months without any cricket, having last played Pakistan in September. Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor tweeted on Friday evening that the team needed to get practicing, keeping the World T20 in mind.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Akshay on January 15, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    Sad that the tournament has been cancelled. Afghanistan would have got good experience playing Zimbabwe. I feel it would have been closely fought battle between the two teams though it would go in Zimbabwe's favor. I though the series vs India would have brought a lot of financial gains to ZC.

    ICC should really pull up its socks and help nations that are financially weak, instead of just being a puppet to the big 3 (BCCI,ECB,CA). I feel they should take a leaf out of FIFA and really work to strengthen and globalize the game.

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    its great because afghanistan team could be hamered badly by zimbabwe because they beated australia pakistan and indiaetc................and afghanistan had no status to play cricket they need to go home reither playing in the world cup just pakistan supports this team

  • mzamo on January 13, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    @ Aryaan Hazrat i agree with you cricket is dying coz of money.Chingoka needs to step down from cricket issues.

  • ZCF on January 12, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    @grahaam I take it then that's why ALL national governments(&companies) ever in existence, have never had budget deficits in order to meet unavoidable expediture they cannot and will never afford! Oh and of course subsequently their economies have never experienced the damaging ripple effects of that.

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    Aryaan Hazrat well said, I am fully supporting your words. For me it is truly disappointed by the Zimbabwe cricket to cancel the tour rather than to postponed the events.....

  • Graham on January 11, 2014, 7:44 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast In your latest post you again contradict yourself...all you are explaining is that The board running ZC are incompetent in doing so ...your comments make it clear that despite knowing the cost of things, and knowing they could not afford it , they continued anyway!!! Thank you for backing up our points , which may help get an admin change in ZC and pave the way for a better future before it is to late!!!!

  • ZCF on January 10, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    @Jonah the only revenue, apart from a joke of a TV rights deal, came from the WCs, plus two IND tours! ICC share is $5.5m/yr avg. Do the math!

    2009 was domestic cricket with 5 franchises, bloated squads&costly overseas players. Same year, ZIM had 6 tours, & in 2010 7 tours. 2011 it was time to resume Tests. Apart from the WC, the 3 tours had full Test,ODI&T20 Series! 2012 may seem cheap with only the NZ tour&the T20WC in SL, but ZIM also hosted two unoffical Tri-Series - Twenty20 with SA-A&BD-A, plus 50Over with SL&BD. 2013 saw 4 tours, and there wasn't anything left for SL tour after servicing debts as well.

    Along the way they have had to host Associates for the I-Cup "imposed" upon them out of budget. NZ-A, SA-A&Aus-A all toured at least a couple of times as well. All this excludes junior&women's national cricket tours, administration salaries, coaches at all levels, umpires, groundsmen, and other expenses such rent, travel costs&accomodation for the franchise teams each weekend...

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    I am wondering that though Afghanistan took all its financial expenditure, still ZIM. Who is the so called a full test member cannot pay for their own cost. This is absolutely a shame for the ICC & ZIM. If ICC really wants this game to survive, it should provide & support opportunities to other associates that are knocking on the door, especially Afghanistan & Ireland.

  • Eugene on January 9, 2014, 23:51 GMT

    ZC have no reason to exist. Their role is to sell cricket to Zimbabwe, but they have no product to sell anymore. No cricket being played, no ZC. Time for the ICC to appoint some local stakeholders as temporary administrators who actually care about cricket more than lining their pockets.

  • Jay on January 9, 2014, 21:36 GMT

    Aryaan Hazrat: Sir, as much as I admire Afghan cricket, your comment is filled with illusion rather than concrete evidence to support your wish. In order for Afghanistan and Ireland to get test status, they need to have self-sustained and well developed domestic first class structure. Both countries DO NOT have that luxury now. To play test cricket, players need to constantly perform well in club/regional cricket first before they can put forward competitive XIs out at the international level. Unless Ireland and Afghanistan do that, they cannot play test cricket.

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