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Harare/UNI: Zimbabwe Cricket on Saturday called off their upcoming five-match T20I home series against Afghanistan, due to COVID-19 pandemic.
"@ZimCricketv has called off the five-match T20I series against @ACBofficials scheduled to be played in Harare this August after the Government advised the country was not ready as yet to host visiting teams amid a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases," Zimbabwe Cricket said in a tweet.
@ZimCricketv has called off the five-match T20I series against @ACBofficials scheduled to be played in Harare this August after the Government advised the country was not ready as yet to host visiting teams amid a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases #ZIMvAFG | #BowlOutCovid19 pic.twitter.com/wXga8QXh1m— Zimbabwe Cricket (@ZimCricketv) August 8, 2020
The T20 series was scheduled in August and Zimbabwe Cricket had also sought permission from its government to organize the series in a strictly controlled environment.
However, the Sports and Recreation Commission advised that the country was not still ready to host visiting teams due to the sudden surge in Covid-19 cases.
According to Zimbabwe Cricket acting managing director Givemore Makoni, it was a sensible decision considering the circumstances.
"We were keen to see the imminent and safe return of cricket, but we understand the government's health concerns and accept that canceling the proposed tour is sensible and in the best interest of players, match officials, volunteers, service providers, fans and the wider community," Makoni was quoted as saying by cricbuzz.
The cancellation of the series is a big blow for Zimbabwe, who are on the recovery path to being debt free five years on from being on the brink of insolvency.They last played a ODI and T20I series against Bangladesh earlier this year.
Zimbabwe was banned for three months by the ICC last year over its failure to keep the sport free from government interference.
The ban was later lifted in October following a meeting in Dubai involving the ZC chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani and sports minister Kirsty Coventry.