India arrived in Harare early this evening (Sunday the 21st of July 2013), for their two-week tour of Zimbabwe.
During their tour, the world champions will play Zimbabwe in five One-Day International (ODI) matches, with the first three at the Harare Sports Club in the capital on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The tour will then move to Bulawayo for two ODIs at the Queens Sports Club next Thursday and Saturday.
Zimbabwe will have their work cut out against the tourists, who have consolidated their International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup-winning stature with recent victories at the ICC Champions Trophy in England and the three-nation series that also involved Sri Lanka, in the West Indies.
Ahead of the tour, Zimbabwe have been hard at work under new coach Andrew Waller, and played Australia A in a three-day match at the Country Club in Harare, ending yesterday.
“We have left no stone unturned in our preparations,” said Zimbabwe Cricket media and communications manager Lovemore Banda, adding: “it is not every day that we host India and so we are doing our best to ensure that we derive maximum benefits from the tour.”
ZC will host a dinner at a Harare hotel tomorrow evening, and cricket fans are expected to buy tickets for the function in their numbers, as it is a unique opportunity to mix with the world champions at close range.
On Tuesday morning, the India squad will conduct a coaching clinic for first team players from 11 Harare schools, in a new ZC development initiative dubbed the “Future Zimbabwe Stars Programme”, which will see local and visiting national teams going out to help school cricketers with their game.
“The Virat Kohlis and the Brendan Taylors of this world are role models for young players in Zimbabwe, and indeed around the world. We are saying to the local youngsters: here are your stars – no longer on television or some hallowed international match venue, but outside – on your school field,” said Banda.
Brendan Taylor (captain), Sikandar Raza Butt, Tendai Chatara, Michael Chinouya, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Kyle Jarvis, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Natsai M’shangwe, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller and Sean Williams.
Virat Kohli (captain), Shami Ahmed, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Parvez Rasool, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma and Jaydev Unadkat.