Zimbabwe return to Test cricket after six years

August 4th, 2011 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Harare, Aug 4 (IANS) Zimbabwe made a return to Test cricket after six years as they faced Bangladesh at the Harare Sports Club here Thursday.

Zimbabwe’s return could well be termed dramatic after their captain Tatenda Taibu slammed the country’s cricket board on the eve of the Test match saying the administrators have not done enough for the sport.

The African nation voluntarily withdrew from playing in the longer format in 2005 and its performance in the international arena has deteriorated since then. But with former players like Grant Flower and Heath Streak coming onto Zimbabwe’s cricket scene, things seem to be going in the right direction.

International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO Haroon Lorgat, who is here for the match, says Zimbabwe’s return is a good thing to have happened for Test cricket.

“To have Zimbabwe return to playing competitive Test cricket is a progressive step and I hope we will see good performances,” Lorgat said in release.

“The future of Test cricket must be supported and I am encouraged by the positive signs of recovery we see in the game in Zimbabwe. It is incumbent on the entire cricket community to work together to promote Test cricket and that is why I wish to support this Test match.

“Much has been done to improve cricket in Zimbabwe, especially in the past two years. It has been fantastic to see some experienced and talented individuals becoming deeply involved, including former players such as Heath Streak, Grant Flower and Alistair Campbell along with Zimbabwe Cricket’s chairman Peter Chingoka and chief executive Ozias Bvute.”

Lorgat, however, points out that there is a long way to go before Zimbabwe are able to put up a fight against stronger nations.

“There is still a long way to go before Zimbabwe can compete consistently with the very best Test nations in the world, but this is a good start. They have been responsible by appreciating the need to be patient and gradual as they develop their team.”

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