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Zimbabwe to host Sri Lanka for two-Test series

ZIwill host Sri Lanka for two Test matches in Harare this month.

Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka (R) is watched by Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Peter Moor as he plays a shot during the fourth one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at the Suriyawewa Mahinda Rajapakse International Cricket Stadium in the southern district of Hambantota on July 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI

The first match is scheduled for 19-23 January, with the second match set for 27-31 January. Both matches will be played at Harare Sports Club. Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput is looking forward to a competitive series.

“Sri Lanka are always a very competitive team who have been playing well and I am looking forward to the Test series,” Rajput said.

“For us, it’s a new beginning, a new chapter, and it’s good that we are starting off with the long version which always brings the best out of players.”

Zimbabwe will begin their training camp tomorrow, with players who have excelled in the first-class competition, the Logan Cup, getting a look-in.

“We have the Logan Cup underway and the players who have been performing will get a look-in,” Rajput said.

“It’s important to have players performing well in first-class cricket and I am happy that in the Logan Cup we have players who have scored centuries and taken five wickets and more.

“This bodes well for our preparations and it’s always good to have players who are match-fit and in good nick.

“During our 10-day camp, we will attend to a few issues, including the processes, as we fine-tune our team ahead of the series.”

The last time Sri Lanka toured Zimbabwe for Test cricket was in October-November 2016, with the visitors winning the two-match series.

Although Zimbabwe last played the red-ball game away to Bangladesh in November 2018, Rajput is confident his charges will still put on a competitive show on home soil.

“We know our home conditions better, our players are getting match-fit and enjoying some game time. So all we have to do is to get in the middle and perform,” he said.

“We have not had much game time, so the players will be very keen and eager to seize this opportunity and do well.”  – ZC