Zimbabwe Cricket have officially called off their five-match T20I home series against Afghanistan scheduled for August. The decision comes after a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in the country which have necessitated more stringent government regulations in order to curb the spread of the virus.
The board had applied to the federal government for a waiver to proceed with the series in a strictly controlled environment, but with Zimbabwe experiencing a spike in the number of Coronavirus cases, the Sports and Recreation Commission advised that the country was not ready as yet to host visiting teams.
“We were keen to see the imminent and safe return of cricket, but we understand the Government’s health concerns and accept that cancelling the proposed tour is sensible and in the best interest of players, match officials, volunteers, service providers, fans and the wider community,” ZC Acting Managing Director Givemore Makoni said.
It is a blow for the board, who are on the recovery path to being debt free five years on from being on the brink of insolvency. This was supposed to be a busy year for ZC after they opted for a quiet 2019 in order to curb spending – as laid out in a financial plan put together in collaboration with the ICC.
“We’ve been walking through (a financial plan) with the ICC,” Mukuhlani had told Cricbuzz. “We are on controlled funding and that has progressed very well. The restructuring of the organisation has taken place, so we think that other than this Covid, we should be in a good space with our finances and that should allow more programmes to take place.”
India were also originally due to visit in August for three ODIs, a series that has also fallen prey to the pandemic.