Cricket-starved Bulawayo will host the Afghanistan National side in a one-day international (ODI) series to be played in the city in its entirety.
The city will host four ODIs starting on the 18 of July. This is the perfect appetiser for the South African series later in the year.
Zimbabwe have not featured on the international arena after another far- from convincing show at the ICC Twenty-20 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier in the year.
The tour will be good or bad for the Zimbabweans, as either a confidence booster or confidence killer depending on what transpires.
Zimbabwe has not on many occasions gone into the series as the favourites and I use the term loosely given the performance of the Afghanistan side lately.
They outplayed Zimbabwe at the Twenty-20 World Cup and although this is a different version they will come to the city of Kings believing they can win the series.
The Zimbabwean side are rusty and Brendon Taylor’s much hyped-Indian Premier League inclusion turned out to be a dump squib as he did not feature at all in the tournament.
This would have meant the side going into the series with two power houses, Australia and South Africa without any international cricket under their belts.
They will still be under cooked for the series against the Afghans, but with all due respect better them than the two super powers.
The series is good news for the City of Kings and repair works have already started at both international venues in the city.
The matches coincide with the ongoing 120 year anniversary celebrations.
Zimbabwe Cricket has invested in a new booster pump and addition staff has been taken on board to make sure the venue is ready for the warm up matches that could include two four day games and rope in Zim A who had their tour to Bangladesh called off.
Queens is currently undergoing repairs, for damages caused by the heavy rains that fell this year. The big match meetings have commenced in both host cities and there are exciting new developments that could change the way cricket is enjoyed in the country.
On the Crease will shed more light on these developments as pens are put to paper. We can, however, tell you that some of the most famous musicians and disk jockeys in the country will be part of the festivities and don’t rule out a concert after the matches.
“E-mail us on what you would like included in the entertainment side during the International games at Queens. Your thoughts on who you would like to see in the Zimbabwean team are most welcome.”
God smiled down on a couple of the local stars last week, who happened to be on the ill-fated City Link bus that was involved in a fatal accident in Norton.
Brian Chari and John Nyumbu were on their way back to camp when the accident occurred, thank heavens they got away with minor injuries and our heartfelt condolences to those that lost loved ones in the tragic event.
Another national team player Brian Vitori was involved in an accident in the capital this week.
Details are sketchy, but he is not in any immediate danger. Sports people in general travel a lot during the season to matches and training camps and our prayers are that the almighty continues to look out for them.
Tuskers embarked on a scholarship programme at Milton High School. The programme although still having teething problems is starting to bear fruit as one of the boys, Bright Phiri will tour South Africa at the end of this month with the Zimbabwe Under-16 side.
There are a total of six boys in the programme and the plan is that all the boys should make a national age group side by the time they are in form four.
We wish Phiri the best of luck in South Africa and hope this opportunity will unlock many future opportunities.
On the international scene Sri Lanka won the second test in Headingly by a 100 runs with just two balls remaining.
I was quite moved by the emotion shown by James Anderson after he failed to see off the last two balls. He had a heroic innings surviving more than 50 balls without scoring a run.
He was so emotional he broke down when giving his speech after accepting the man of the series award.
It is great to see in this day and age that sport has become so commercialised there are still human emotions. The victory sealed Sri Lanka’s first test series win in England.
Quote of the year, “light will not be an issue unless it gets dark”, Russell Arnold on commentary during the Headingly test.