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New Zealand Tour Cancellation Deals Setback to Zimbabwe's Return to Test Play

The New Zealand cricket side was originally scheduled to tour Zimbabwe in July of last year, but that engagement was called off for similar reasons to do with political instability and the cholera epidemic of early 2009

New Zealand Cricket has announced that it will not be touring Zimbabwe in June as scheduled, citing health and security concerns. The national teams were to play three one-day international matches.

New Zealand Cricket chief Justin Vaughan said the matches might be held elsewhere or postponed for the second time - the round of matches was originally set for July 2009 but called off for similar reasons.

Zimbabwe Cricket officials told VOA they had not yet received formal notification from New Zealand.

Cricket commentator Brian Goredema told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye that the cancellation represents a setback for Zimbabwe’s effort to stage a return to international Test play.

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe all-rounder Elton Chigumbura has been signed as Northamptonshire's overseas player. The Cricinfo Web site said the the deal paves the way for Chigumbura's first county cricket assignment.