ZIMBABWE have set up an important date featuring a Twenty20 and One Day International series against Afghanistan next year in the United Arab Emirates as part of the preparations for the 2018 Cricket World Cup qualifiers. The nations will play two Twenty20 matches and five One Day Internationals in Sharjah to sharpen up ahead of the World Cup qualifying tournament to be held in Zimbabwe in March. ZC spokesperson Darlington Majonga yesterday said the two countries have reached an agreement on the tour from February 5 to February 19, 2018. All seven matches will be played at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, which is Afghanistan’s home ground.
“We have in recent times enjoyed riveting cricket series between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan and we believe the upcoming one-day international and Twenty20 international matches will be no different. For us, the Afghanistan tour will be very important because, as a team that has not played a great deal of limited-overs cricket over the last couple of years, the series will present a great opportunity for our side to try and gel together as a unit before the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 which will be staged in Zimbabwe,” said Majonga.
Zimbabwe and Afghanistan have played each other every year since 2014 with the Asians dominating the meetings. The Chevrons are yet to win a series against Afghanistan with the last three meetings ending in identical 3-2 defeats for the Zimbabweans.
Afghanistan Cricket Board chairman Shukrullah Atif Mashal said the Afghans, who have been raising their profile in limited overs cricket of late, are looking forward to the series.
“The two T20Is and five-match ODI series at Sharjah Cricket Stadium will give both sides a valuable opportunity to face each other for competitive cricket ahead of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in March. Both sides have played closely fought series in the past and this will again ensure that cricket fans witness some great cricket between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe,” said Mashal.
1st T20I – 5 February 2018
2nd T20I – 6 February 2018
1st ODI – 9 February 2018
2nd ODI – 11 February 2018
3rd ODI – 13 February 2018
4th ODI – 16 February 2018
5th ODI – 19 February 2018