Zimbabwe confirms Intercontinental Cup participation
Zimbabwe Cricket has reportedly confirmed that it will enter an A side into the 2009-10 Intercontinental Cup. Zimbabwe's inclusion in the Associates' competition is in accordance with the recommendations of the ICC's task force, although they did not specify that it should be a second-string side.
Although the initial fixtures for the seven-team competition have been announced, so far no fixtures including either Zimbabwe or Afghanistan have been included.
The ICC is understood to have contacted the other five participants and asked their governments' position on them sending teams to the two countries, or even playing against them.
If there are problems, they are likely to come from the three European countries - Ireland, Netherlands and Scotland - as the European Union has blocks on certain senior ZC officials, and issuing visas for Zimbabwe teams could prove problematical. Zimbabwe withdrew from this year's World Twenty20 tournament after it became clear that the UK government would not grant visas for the team.
It is anticipated that Afghanistan's home matches will be staged in the UAE.
The decision to play under the A team name gives Zimbabwe Cricket a useful escape line should the side lose any of its Cup matches, and the selection will no doubt be scrutinised carefully to establish how many are really members of the full side.
The ICC is believed to have hoped that by linking ODIs to the four-day matches it might persuade ZC to put out a full-strength team under the Zimbabwe name.