The two minnows Zimbabwe and Afghanistan have agreed to play a five-match ODI series, and a couple of T20I’s against each other at Sharjah starting in February 2018. The tour will kick off with back to back T20I games on February 5 and February 6 before the action moves to the 50 over leg scheduled to commence from February 9. The final match will be played on 19th February.
Afghanistan were in talks with Zimbabwe to play their maiden Test after around the same time as well.
An original plan was the two teams would play in Sharjah, and then Zimbabwe will fly to Bangladesh for a Tri-Nation series, but both are part of the World Cup Qualifiers. So, Zimbabwe Cricket suggested the Afghanistan Cricket Board that it would be better of arranging the Test match on a later date.
“We are still discussing the proposed Test and looking at playing it after the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier,” a Zimbabwe cricket official said.
Meanwhile, with Zimbabwe suffering cash crisis, they might prefer to play their Test matches away from home. On the other hand, Afghanistan have also announced a three-match ODI series against Ireland scheduled to take place in Sharjah on 5th, 7th and 10th December.
The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) Chairman Atif Mashal was apparently happy with the good exposure of the team in limited overs cricket.
“The two T20Is and five-match ODI series at Sharjah Cricket Stadium will give both sides [Afghanistan and Zimbabwe] a valuable opportunity to face each other for competitive cricket ahead of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in March,” he said.
Here is the Full Tour schedule:
Feb 5 – first T20I, Sharjah
Feb 6 – Second T20I, Sharjah
Feb 9 – First ODI, Sharjah
Feb 11 – Second ODI, Sharjah
Feb 13 – Third ODI, Sharjah
Feb 16 – Fourth ODI, Sharjah
Feb 19 – Fifth ODI, Sharjah