NZC monitoring social situation in Zimbabwe ahead of tour

Zimbabwe is set to host New Zealand for two Tests in late July and early August Associated Press

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is monitoring the unrest in Zimbabwe ahead of its team's tour to the country later this month. Widespread protests against economic and civil issues have taken place in Zimbabwe this week.

New Zealand's departure for Africa will not be delayed as of now, NZC public affairs manager Richard Boock told the New Zealand Herald, but the board will keep a close watch on the situation as the team prepares for the two Tests against Zimbabwe at a camp in Pretoria, South Africa.

"We are monitoring closely what is happening in Zimbabwe," Boock said. "There are no plans to delay the players leaving New Zealand. While in camp in Pretoria, we will be able to keep an eye on what is going on. South Africa A are in Harare at present, and we will be liaising with South Africa Cricket and the British High Commission in Harare."

Currently, South Africa A are in Zimbabwe to play two four-day games, one each in Harare and Bulawayo. In June, India had played three ODIs and three T20s in Harare without incident.

The New Zealand team is scheduled to fly to South Africa on July 11, before moving to Zimbabwe in time for a three-day warm-up game in Harare from July 22. The Tests are set to be played in Bulawayo between July 28 and August 10.

A nationwide strike to protest a lack of jobs and unpaid wages was organised in Zimbabwe on July 6, leaving city streets deserted. On Monday, taxi drivers clashed with security forces in Harare over issues of extortion, leading to many arrests. Several other strikes - reportedly featuring the likes of civil servants, doctors, teachers - have also taken place in the drought-hit country.