England intends to host Zimbabwe for the first time since 2004. This move is anticipated to restore and strengthen cricketing connections between the two nations. According to multiple reports, England may host a Test against Zimbabwe at Lord’s in the future years.
In 2004, Zimbabwe last participated in a bilateral series with England, and England has not hosted Zimbabwe since 2003. Since England withdrew from their 2003 ODI World Cup match against Zimbabwe due to the country’s political climate, cricketing relations between the two organisations have deteriorated. Consequently, the British Government instructed England not to play Zimbabwe.
England is the only team among the 12 full members of the International Cricket Council that will not play Zimbabwe in any bilateral cricket matches between 2022 and 2027. The time since England and Zimbabwe last played a bilateral match is by far the longest of any two full members, with even archrivals India and Pakistan last competing in a series in 2013.
England have not hosted Bangladesh in any format since 2010, although the Three Lions faced the Bangla Tigers in three ODIs and as many T20Is in Bangladesh earlier this year.
However, the England & Wales Cricket Board has been considering the possibility of inviting Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in order to promote Test cricket worldwide and keep the format competitive.
Test match generates robust ticket sales, indicative of Lord Cricket Ground’s passion for Test cricket
Due to a staging agreement, Lord’s has continued to host two Test matches annually since 2000, with the exception of the pandemic in 2020. Recent ticket sales for the match against Ireland demonstrate Lord’s Test cricket’s popularity.
Guy Lavender, the chief executive officer of Marylebone Cricket Club, told Telegraph Sport that Lord’s will continue to host two Test matches annually in the future.
“We are extremely excited to host two Test matches at Lord’s in 2024. Moving forward, we believe there is merit in staging two Test matches each summer at Lord’s, both in making the best use of this incredible venue and in generating strong financial returns to support the development of the game,” he told Telegraph Sport.