While Zimbabwe Cricket has remarkably managed to convince renowned coach Dav Whatmore to sign a four-year-contract to oversee the national cricket team, Zimbabwe remains in the Test wilderness with just one Test match against Bangladesh in November on the calendar this year.
By Our Staff
The Zimbabwe team, which is busy readying for a much-publicised rare tour of Pakistan — the first visit to the subcontinent country by a Test playing nation in six years since an attack on the Sri Lanka national team in 2009.
With a flurry of One Day Internationals and T20 coming up for Zimbabwe against India, New Zealand and again Pakistan as the year progresses, it is the number of Test matches that could have the new Zimbabwe coach worried.
Speaking at a ZC press conference last week, ZC director of cricket, Alistair Campbell accepted the fate of lack of Test action for the national team while pinning hope on the ICC to rescue Zimbabwe with its Test Support Fund next year.
“From the ICC Future tours programme, we don’t have any Test matches until Bangladesh in November. Fixture that were initially scheduled to take place in January,” he said.
“But obviously for next year the ICC has made available a Test Support Fund that will enable us to have more Tests so we are likely going to have more Test matches. At the moment we have got only three Tests against Bangladesh at the end of the year,” added the former Zimbabwe cricket captain.
Last year the ICC adopted a Test Cricket Fund to all Test playing nations except India, Australia and England, introduced to help ensure all of the Test playing teams will be able to sustain a home programme of Test cricket through to 2023.
The last time Zimbabwe played the longer version of the game was in November last year against Bangladesh in a disastrous tour in which the country was whitewashed in both Tests and ODIs by their closest rival at the bottom of the ICC Test rankings.
By the time we play the Tigers again, they would have played at least seven Tests against some of the best Test playing countries including two against Australia, two against South Africa, two against Pakistan and one against India.
The Test gloom was evident in the way ZC has been dragging its feet to replace retired former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor who decided to take up a Kolpak deal at Nottinghamshire in England.
Although Zimbabwe is thin in possible candidates to take up the Test captaincy, Taylor’s successor may be decided by Whatmore, who may need adequate time to pick the new captain.