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England To Host Zimbabwe For A Test Series After 23 Years

England To Host Zimbabwe For A Test Series After 23 Years

England and Zimbabwe are set to rekindle their cricketing rivalry with an one-off four-day Test match which will be played in 2025. The date for the much-anticipated encounter has been locked in for May 28, although the venue hasn’t be disclosed yet.

The last time England and Zimbabwe came against each other was in a bilateral contest back in year 2003. Now, with the recent agreement between the cricket boards of both countries, both teams are ready to face each other after hiatus of 22 years.

2003 Test Series Between England and Zimbabwe

The 2003 test series between England and Zimbabwe was the first test series between both teams. The series consisted of two test matches, both won by England who were hosting the test series. Several players made their debut in this series, including James Anderson and Robert Key for England, and Stuart Matsikenyeri and Blessing Mahwire for Zimbabwe.

England To Host Zimbabwe For A Test Series After 23 Years
Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images

James Anderson took a fifer in that match and ironically he is the only player from that arena who is still playing test cricket. For England, Mark Butcher performed brilliantly with the bat and was awarded man of series rightly so.

The matches took place at two venues in England: Lord’s Cricket Ground and Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street. The second played at Riverside Ground wad first ever test match at that ground.

However, after the 2003 test series, both countries did not play test matches against each other for several reasons. One of the main reasons was the deteriorating cricketing culture in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union faced financial difficulties, leading to player strikes and administrative issues.

Gratitude From Both Sides For Intiating the Great Test Series 

Zimbabwe Cricket’s Managing Director, Givemore Makoni, expressed his gratitude towards the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for facilitating the revival of cricketing ties between the nations. Makoni acknowledged the deep-rooted history of cricket relations between Zimbabwe and England, tracing back to the game’s inception in Zimbabwe during the 1890s. This reinstated connection carries immense symbolic importance for both nations.

Richard Gould, the CEO of the ECB, echoed Makoni’s sentiments, underlining the board’s commitment to strengthening its bond with Zimbabwe Cricket in the years to come. Gould emphasized the rich cricketing history of Zimbabwe and its pivotal role in the sport’s legacy. He emphasized that this Test match announcement marked a pivotal step in achieving the shared ambition of nurturing a closer association between the cricketing entities.

The England Men’s cricket team’s participation in this upcoming match not only underscores their dedication to the sport but also mirrors the growth-oriented approach of the ECB. Reflecting on the success and spectacle of the Ashes series held earlier in the summer, Gould said that this Test match against Zimbabwe aligns with the broader objective of expanding the horizons of Test cricket.

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