Sports

Zimbabwe allowed to host Bangladesh cricket tour despite COVID-19 situation

(SATSports) – Zimbabwe will host Bangladesh during a tour which includes all three cricket formats in July despite a ban on sports events in the country to tackle a rising number of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

The tour will take place after the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) granted an exemption to nine sports codes to resume certain activities to honour specified domestic and international tournaments.

The tour, which is scheduled to take place between July 7-27, involves a three-match ODI series that forms part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup Super League.

The League serves as part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup qualification process. The top eight teams will automatically qualify for the 2023 World Cup, while the rest will go through to a qualifying event.

Bangladesh currently leads the table, with 50 points from nine matches, while Zimbabwe is bottom, with 10 points from three matches.

The tour also includes one Test and three T20Is.

Following the announcement, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) said all games will be played at Harare Sports Club, with no spectators allowed in the ground as part of COVID-19 protocols.

This will be the second men’s international series Zimbabwe will host since the start of the pandemic following the first one involving Pakistan in April.

The SRC also allowed the under-19 cricket team to travel to South Africa to take part in a quadrangular tournament next month.

The national football team was also allowed to begin holding training camps in preparation for the upcoming COSAFA Cup next month.

Other exemptions were given to the rugby, volleyball, golf, shooting, bass, aquatic and athletics federations.

However, there was no mention of the hockey under-21 teams which have World Cup qualifiers in August.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no rugby, football or any other sporting activities are to resume other than for those purposes specifically exempted,” the SRC said in a statement on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe has so far reported more than 42,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 1,600 deaths.

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