Zimbabwe women are set to return to the field for the first time since May 2019 when they host Pakistan for three ODIs and two T20Is at the Harare Sports Club next month.
According to a Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) release, the proposed tour, “which is subject to approval from the government of Zimbabwe due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place,” will comprise three ODIs, on February 11, 13, and 15, and two T20Is, on February 18 and 20. The tour will be conducted in a bio-secure bubble with no spectators allowed at the match venue.
Pakistan’s ongoing six-match tour of South Africa ends on February 3 with the third and final T20I.
Both teams will look to use the tour as part of their preparations for the Women’s ODI World Cup Qualifier 2021, a 10-team tournament that will be held in June and July. The top three teams from that event will progress to the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand in March-April next year.
“The Pakistan senior women’s team are currently touring South Africa and agreed to stop over in Harare after Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) engaged the Pakistan Cricket Board prior to the latest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions imposed by the government,” the statement read. “But ZC, having already successfully hosted domestic competitions in a controlled environment, will host the Pakistan women series in a bio-secure bubble in order to greatly minimize the risk of the coronavirus spreading.
“Stringent protocols for the proposed tour are already in place, with the ZC COVID-19 Committee, which includes the organization’s chief medical officer Dr. Solomon Madzogo, meeting twice a week to ensure all is in place for a safe series.”
Zimbabwe, who do not hold ODI status, last played an international match on May 12, 2019: a T20I fixture against Namibia in Harare.