Zim, SA gear for ICC Champions Trophy

The Southern African countries have organised the MTN One-Day International (ODI) series to help their senior national teams prepare for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy which is in India in October.

The Zimbabwe tour of South Africa was initially scheduled as a two-match series with one twenty20 fixture, but when the Proteas cut short their tour of Sri Lanka last week following expert advice that there was a “real situational threat” to them in the Asian country, Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Zimbabwe Cricket added another ODI’ much to the delight of South African coach Mickey Arthur who said:

“I am happy that CSA secured another game for the Proteas.

“This will certainly help in the preparation for the ICC Champions Trophy in India in October. The more cricket, the better.”

Zimbabwe coach Kevin Curran was no less enthusiastic, saying:

“We have been on a short break to give the players time to recharge their batteries.

“We have also had some injuries after an intensive four months of play that began with our tour to the West Indies.

“There can be no better way to come out of that rest and resume preparations for the Champions Trophy!”

The first encounter between South Africa and Zimbabwe is a day-night affair at Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein on Friday 15 September.

The two sides will then play the second ODI at Buffalo Park in East London two days later before winding up the tour with the third ODI, another day-nighter, at the Sedgars Park in Potchefstroom on Wednesday the 20th.

Before taking on the Proteas, the Zimbabweans have a day-night engagement against South African twenty20 champions, the Gestetner Diamond Eagles, at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberly on Wednesday 13th September.

“It will be valuable experience for the guys.

“We have not had that much exposure at a competitive enough level in the 20-overs version of the game and so this fixture is very welcome,” said the Zimbabwe coach.

August 2006
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