Afghanistan will take on Zimbabwe in a two-match Twenty20 International series followed by a five-game One-Day International series in Sharjah in February next year; the Afghanistan Cricket Board announced on Thursday (November 16).
The limited-overs series will begin with the T20 series with both the games scheduled to take place on February 5 and 6, respectively. The ODI series will kick-start on February 9 while the next four games are slated to take place on February 11, 13, 16 and 19.
Confirming the news, Shukrullah Atif Mashal, Afghanistan Cricket Board’s chairman, hoped the series would get both the teams ready for the next year’s World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
“Two T20Is and five-match ODI series at Sharjah Cricket Stadium will give both sides a valuable opportunity to face each other and play competitive cricket ahead of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in March. Both sides have played closely fought series in the past, and this will again ensure that cricket fans witness some great cricket between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe,” Shukrullah Atif Mashal said.
Zimbabwe Cricket spokesperson Darlington Majonga also echoed the same sentiments as he said:
“We have in recent times enjoyed riveting cricket series between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, and we believe the upcoming ODI and T20I matches will be no different. For us, the Afghanistan tour will be very important because, as a team that has not played a great deal of limited-overs cricket over the last couple of years, the series will present a great opportunity for our side to try and gel together as a unit before the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 which will be staged in Zimbabwe.”
As of now, Afghanistan has earned the bragging rights of this fixture by winning the last three ODI series with the identical 3-2 margin against Zimbabwe. In T20Is too, Afghanistan has the upper hand, winning both the bilateral T20I series with a 2-0 margin.
Meanwhile, both the countries are planning to play a Test match after the completion of the qualifiers in March. Afghanistan along with Ireland was awarded the Test status early this year while Zimbabwe is already a full member of the ICC.
1st T20I – February 5, 2018
2nd T20I – February 6
1st ODI – February 9
2nd ODI – February 11
3rd ODI – February 13
4th ODI – February 16
5th ODI – February 19
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