India-Zimbabwe series in doubt due to IPL 2019 schedule

India-Zimbabwe series in doubt due to IPL 2019 schedule

Both the teams, last played a bilateral series in 2016 when India toured Zimbabwe for three ODIs and as many T20Is.

Team India
Team India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Zimbabwe’s proposed tour of India is in danger of getting cancelled owing to the schedule of this year’s Indian Premier League. Just a week ago, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that the twelfth edition of the league will start on March 23, thus ending the speculations over the league’s starting date. With the World Cup in May, the BCCI had to come up with a date which would allow the players adequate rest before the showpiece event in England.

However, the schedule is more than likely to jeopardise Zimbabwe’s tour of India. While the schedule of the series is yet to be announced, the African country was likely to visit the Indian subcontinent at some point in March. India were set to host Zimbabwe for one Test and three ODIs. However, it looks pretty unlikely now due to the cramped schedule. India are currently in Australia for their final leg of a two-month long tour.

It ends on January 18 following which the team flies to New Zealand for five ODIs and three T20Is starting from 23rd of this month. The tour will end on February 10. After that, the Men in Blue will welcome Australia for two T20Is and five ODIs. The series will run from 24 February to 13 March. With the IPL due to start on March 23, that leaves only 10 days to squeeze the Zimbabwe series in. Thus for the time being, it looks highly unlikely. Consequently, the series could be restructured, postponed or even cancelled entirely.

According to a report in the ESPNcricinfo, Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Givemore Makoni will meet BCCI officials to discuss the various options including the omission of the one-off Test for T20Is and ODIs.

A series after a long time:

In case, Zimbabwe does visit India, this will be only their second bilateral series in this country in this millennium.  Zimbabwe visited India for the World T20 in 2016, the World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2006, but their proposed upcoming trip would have been their first for a bilateral series since 2002.

Both the teams, meanwhile, last played a bilateral series in 2016 when India toured Zimbabwe for three ODIs and as many T20Is.

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