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Australia Breaks Travel Ban, Sends 'A' Cricket Team To Tour Zimbabwe

The Australian and South African cricket 'A' teams will each play four-day matches against Zimbabwe next month, opening the season

The Australian and South African cricket “A” teams are due in Zimbabwe late next month to play four-day matches against their host, launching the season in late June.

Zimbabwe Cricket spokesman Shingai Rhuhwaya said the matches with South Africa and in particular Australia will boost boost Zimbabwe's chances of a return to Test play.

Hosting Australia and South Africa "will set a good foundation for our Test return match against Bangladesh in early August," Rhuhwaya said in a news release.

"We can confirm that seven limited-overs games will be played between the three teams between the 29th of June and the 8th of July followed by two four-day matches against Australia "A" between the 15th and 24th of July," Rhuhwaya said.

Zimbabwe national team head coach Alan Butcher will open training on June 2.

Cricket commentator Godfrey Koti told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous Mhlanga Nyahuye that the move is encouraging for Zimbabwe’s eventual return to test cricket.

Koti noted that Australia's decision to send its second team signals a change of heart in Canberra as the country instituted a ban on team travel to Zimbabwe back in 2007 to register its concern over alleged human rights and electoral abuses.