Zimbabwe keeps going despite Test wilderness

Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Harare:The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) said it will intensify efforts to improve cricket in the country over the coming seven months, during which time it has scrapped all Test matches.

"We do not agree we are not up to Test standard. We are simply intensifying our efforts to give our team the fullest possible experience and to help with their rapid improvement," ZCU chairman Peter Chingoka said.

Zimbabwe's next scheduled Test match is away to Bangladesh in January.

ZCU officials agreed during talks with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai last week to postpone two Tests in Pakistan in October and two at home to England in November, and Zimbabwe will only play One-day matches for the remainder of this year.

The agreement was made so that Zimbabwe could focus on getting their game back into shape after damage caused by a players' dispute which saw 15 senior players go on strike after the sacking of captain Heath Streak.

Streak had objected to the selection policies of the ZCU which he claimed were compromising the success of the national team, which since suffered humiliating defeats at the hands of Australia and Sri Lanka.

Chingoka said that the ZCU was now prepared to look into "alternative approaches" to resolving the strike, adding it would "look further" into the suggestion by the ICC that a committee be established to broker a resolution.

"The door remains open for the striking players to resolve their differences on an individual or group basis," he added.

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