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Zimbabwe suffer India blow

by Staff reporter
13 Jun 2020 at 09:32hrs | Views
INDIA'S tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, scheduled for June and August respectively, have been called off by the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) owing to the "current threat of COVID-19", board secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

India were scheduled to tour Sri Lanka for three one-day internationals (ODIs) and as many T20Is starting June 24, and then to Zimbabwe for three ODIs starting August 22.

The BCCI's decision was made public a day after Sri Lanka Cricket said it was still hopeful of hosting India in August.

With Sri Lanka seeing just over 700 active COVID-19 cases currently, the board was pushing hard to restart cricket in the country by also holding a residential training camp for 12 of its players earlier this month.

In the circumstances, India are also unlikely to travel to South Africa at the end of August to play three T20Is, a series proposed by Cricket South Africa (CSA) recently.

At the time, the BCCI had not committed one way or other, but had told CSA that if there were no quarantine restrictions, India could think of stopping by after the Zimbabwe tour.

The BCCI reiterated in its statement yesterday that it would conduct a camp for its contracted players "only when it is completely safe to train outdoors".

It added: "The BCCI is determined to take steps towards the resumption of international and domestic cricket, but it will not rush into any decision that will jeopardise the efforts put in by the Central and State governments and several other respective agencies in containing the spread of the coronavirus."

The spread of COVID-19 has played havoc with the cricket schedule globally, and in India, the BCCI is trying its best to host the Indian Premier League at some stage this year, even if in front of empty stands.

President Sourav Ganguly recently wrote to state associations that the BCCI was on the verge of finalising guidelines for the return of cricket in India.

The Indian domestic calendar is also likely to see a significant rejig.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) had announced this week plans to host Afghanistan and India before they travel to Australia in August.

A squad of 33 players is set to start training ahead of the Afghanistan T-20 series, while the Asians have already began preparations for their visit to Zimbabwe.

The withdrawal of India from the planned tour to Zimbabwe will hit ZC's coffers as they looked to boost their finances from the lucrative tour.

Zimbabwe also missed out on hosting India last year and they will be hoping to reschedule it for next year.

The COVID-19 outbreak has also claimed Ireland's visit to Zimbabwe.

Source - newsday