Afghanistan to play four ODIs in Zimbabwe
Afghanistan will play four ODIs and two four-day games during a 28-day tour to Zimbabwe that starts next month. The Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo will host the one-day leg of their tour, following which they will travel to Harare for the four-day matches at the Country Club.
Zimbabwe had been due to host Afghanistan for several Twenty20s and an ODI in January this year but the tour was cancelled following Zimbabwe Cricket's financial crisis. Zimbabwe's financial troubles had resulted in a player boycott in December last year, which lasted until February.
With just three series of international cricket this year, the series against Afghanistan will be an important one for Zimbabwe, especially after the A team's tour to Bangladesh was deferred last week as it coincided with the monsoon season in Bangladesh. Zimbabwe will host South Africa for a one-off Test and three ODIs in August, followed by a tri-series which also includes Australia.
For Afghanistan, this will be their first bilateral ODI series against a Test-playing country. The team, which qualified for the 2015 World Cup with a second-place finish in the World Cricket League Championship last year, had earlier participated in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, prior to the World T20.
"We see the Zimbabwe tour as an important part of our preparation for the World Cup 2015," Noor Mohammad Murad, the chief executive of Afghanistan Cricket, said. "The national team has just participated in an extensive month-long coaching and fitness camp in Kabul. The tour will consolidate and build upon the training they have received along with camps and tours later in the year."