© ZIMBABWE will host Sri Lanka in two Test matches scheduled for Harare Sports Club with the first encounter set to run from January 19 to 23. The second match to wrap up the series is scheduled for January 27-31.
In preparation for the series, recently-appointed director of Cricket for Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) Hamilton Masakadza kicked off his reign with a number of changes in the national setup.
Masakadza recommended all-rounder Sean Williams to be appointed Test captain while Chamu Chibhabha would be his deputy.
Sri Lanka are number six on ICC Test cricket rankings while Zimbabwe are a distant 11th on the table.
Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput was upbeat on the prospects of kicking off the year with the longer version of the game.
“For us, it’s a new beginning, a new chapter, and it’s good that we are starting off with the long version which always brings the best out of players,” Rajput said.
“We have the Logan Cup (Premier Four-Day Domestic First Class competition) underway and the players who have been performing will get a look-in.
“It’s important to have players performing well in first-class cricket and I am happy that in the Logan Cup we have players who have scored centuries and taken five wickets and more.
“This bodes well for our preparations and it’s always good to have players who are match-fit and in good nick.”
The locals last played red ball cricket against Bangladesh in the subcontinent two years ago while Sri Lanka’s previous visit to Zimbabwe was in 2016. .
In July 2017, Zimbabwe outclassed Sri Lanka 3-2 to seal their first major overseas one-day series win since 2001.
“We know our home conditions better; our players are getting match-fit and enjoying some game time. So all we have to do is to get in the middle and perform,” Rajput added.
“We have not had much game time, so the players will be very keen and eager to seize this opportunity and do well.”