New Zealand could resume cricket tours to Zimbabwe next year after a high-level meeting between government officials, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said yesterday. The Black Caps postponed their July 2009 tour to the southern-African country on security grounds after John Key, the Prime Minister, had said his government did not support Robert Mugabe's regime. Last year, NZC said they would monitor the situation with an eye to travelling to Zimbabwe for a one-day series this month.
Yesterday, however, the board said they would look to visit Zimbabwe in May 2011 after a meeting between Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief executive, and David Coltart, the Zimbabwe Sports Minister who had earlier met his counterpart Murray McCully. "I am aware that the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Murray McCully, had a positive meeting with Mr Coltart in Wellington earlier this week," Vaughan said.
"It is clear from that meeting that our government's position is that they would not oppose the Black Caps touring Zimbabwe next year. "It is important to stress that any tour by New Zealand cricket teams to Zimbabwe would need to be prefaced by full safety and security checks, which are standard practice for New Zealand Cricket." Meanwhile, India, who suffered defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe recently, face Bangladesh in an Asian Cup match in Sri Lanka today. "This is a new beginning before the World Cup, fielding and fitness are a priority, and the players have realised they have to work on it," Gary Kirsten, the India coach, said.
MS Dhoni returns as captain for India having missed the tour of Zimbabwe. Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, is excited about his side's first game in Dambulla. "The boys are really looking forward to this tournament," he said. "It is very important for us. We know it's a very difficult task but not impossible." * Agencies