Zimbabwe Cricket’s 2011/12 international and domestic season will be opened by international A sides, Australia ‘A’ and South Africa ‘A’ are expected to arrive in the country as the first nations, marking the beginning of Zimbabwe’s cricket year.
The two nations are expected to arrive in Zimbabwe at the end of June and will partake in a triangular series involving Zimbabwe XI. This will be Zimbabwe’s first commitment since the ICC 2011 Cricket World Cup which ended in April.
The teams will participate in a limited overs competition starting from June into July. Australia will then play two four-day matches against Zimbabwe XI after South Africa’s departure.
“Hosting Australia and South Africa ‘A’ sides will be an ideal start to our season especially at the verge of our return to test cricket once again. Both nations have robust cricketing cultures and structures and will we are certain that they will bring their trademark high level of competitiveness in Zimbabwe. We yet to confirm the final itinerary for the tour and will announce these in due course,” said Zimbabwe Cricket’s Head of Media and Communications, Shingai Rhuhwaya-Koti.
“A-list matches are of the essence to all Test playing nations because they act yard stick to measure how equipped players are as well as to prepare them for the international stages. Participating nations in the triangular series will bring in a host of exciting young players, some of whom have not yet had any international experience as well as players who have represented their national teams.
“Australia has already announced its squad for the tour which will be led by Tim Paine along with some very exciting fast bowlers like Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Starc. We anticipate that the Australians will bring the pace to our batters and they can get more exposure to more stern and faster bowling conditions particularly in the four-day matches,” she said.
National team head coach Alan Butcher along with the national team coaching panel and selectors have already started working on players individually with special attention to players in the domestic franchises, who have shown the traits of players ready for international trial.