SRI LANKA’S national cricket team is expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on October 25 to play two Tests against the hosts before featuring in a triangular One-Day International (ODIs) series involving the hosts and West Indies, Standardsport can reveal.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
According to the schedule gleaned by Standardsport, the two Tests between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka will take place at Harare Sports Club, while five of the seven triangular ODI series matches have been slated for Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
The first Test match has been scheduled for October 29 to November 2 at Harare Sports Club, with the two teams having only three days’ rest before the second Test which has been pencilled for November 6-10 at the same venue.
The two teams will then be joined by the West Indies in a triangular series whose first two matches have been set for November 14 and 16 at Harare Sports Club before the three teams head to Bulawayo for the remainder of the tri-series.
The last five triangular series matches are pencilled for November 19, 21, 23, 25 and the final two days will later be played at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Sri Lanka’s tour of Zimbabwe was initially expected to consist of two Tests, three ODIs and a T20I, before Zimbabwe Cricket’s decision to include the triangular ODI series featuring Sri Lanka and West Indies.
Caribbean islanders are expected to come to Harare soon after their ongoing tour in Dubai where they will play three Twenty-20 internationals, the same number of 50-overs matches and a three-match Test series against Pakistan until November 3.
Zimbabwe will have an opportunity to fine-tune for their impending Test series against Sri Lanka as well as the triangular series by playing a visiting Pakistan A side in five one-dayers and two four-day matches starting on Monday.
Zimbabwe cricket team players recently resumed training ahead of the upcoming international assignments after ending their protest over contracts and outstanding match fees last Monday.
The local cricket governing body last week began offering central contracts to 16 national team players for the 2016/2017 season after initially extending player contracts by one month to allow the players to participate in the home series against New Zealand in July and August.
The national cricket team is also without a head coach, with ZC still in the process of searching for a new coach, with the submission of applications having closed almost three weeks ago.
Former Zimbabwe captain, Heath Streak is, however, the favourite to fill the post, which became vacant with the sacking of Dav Whatmore in May. In the meantime, Makhaya Ntini is expected to continue presiding over the team until an appointment has been made.
Zimbabwe lost their ODI and T20 series to India 3-0 and 2-1, respectively, in June under Ntini’s watch before they were also soundly beaten by New Zealand in their two-match Test series, which was played in Bulawayo in July and August.