English first-class county club Durham will compete in Zimbabwe’s domestic T20 competition in March as part of their preparations for the 2024 season.
The squad will fly out to Harare on February 19 and play two three-day warm-up fixtures before taking part in the T20 competition alongside domestic sides Lions, Mountaineers, Mid West Rhinos, Matabeleland Tuskers, Southern Rocks and defending champions Mashonaland Eagles from March 3-9.
Pre-season tour locked in. 🌍✅
— Durham Cricket (@DurhamCricket) February 9, 2024
Durham are making a return to Zimbabwe having previously visited the Southern African nation on tour in 2020 and 2023, winning all six matches across the formats on the latter visit.
The English club’s director of cricket, Marcus North, said:
“We are extremely excited to be returning back to Zimbabwe for our pre-season tour after receiving an invitation from Zimbabwe Cricket.
“Having returned last year, it was a great experience for the lads, which set us up perfectly for our successful 2023 season.
“Our players and staff will gain valuable experience along with match preparation against quality opposition leading into our summer.
“As our successful winter training is coming to a close this tour will provide fantastic preparation for the lads.
“The opportunity to play in Zimbabwe’s domestic tournament is really exciting. This will provide the whole squad with some good quality Vitality Blast match practice which we wouldn’t be able to replicate back in Durham.”
“We have built up a strong relationship with Cricket Zimbabwe and this trip enables us to further work alongside an international governing body, we are very thankful to Cricket Zimbabwe for their support on this tour.”
While the upcoming tour will give Durham to prepare for the upcoming English County Championship season, for Zimbabwe its an opportunity for local player to get some valuable game time against quality opposition.
The tour is also a major boost for Zimbabwe Cricket in its efforts to improve its relations with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).