England to host Zimbabwe for one-off four-day Test in May 2025

England to host Zimbabwe for one-off four-day Test in May 2025

England will host Zimbabwe in May 2025 for a four-day Test, marking the first Test match between the sides since June 2003. The game will be played from May 28 to 31 but the venue is yet to be confirmed.

In all the two have played each other in six Tests, Zimbabwe hosting England in the long format in 1996 and touring the UK in 2000 and 2003 for two games apiece. The teams have not played a bilateral series against each other in any format since 2004, with relations between the two boards severed due to political tensions stemming from issues in Zimbabwe under the Robert Mugabe government.

England forfeited points in the 2003 World Cup after refusing to travel to Harare to play Zimbabwe, and the ECB suspended bilateral agreements with Zimbabwe on government advice in 2005. Relations between the two countries have improved in recent years, leading to a resumed dialogue between the two cricket boards.

ECB chief executive Richard Gould said of the development: “We are delighted to be able to host Zimbabwe for a Men’s Test match for the first time in two decades. Zimbabwe has a proud cricket history and have produced world-class players and coaches who have enriched the game across the world.

“We are committed to developing a closer relationship with Zimbabwe Cricket and the announcement of this Test against our England Men’s team is a step in that ambition.”

ZC managing director, Givemore Makoni, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be playing bilateral cricket in England for the first time in over two decades after we agreed to play a Test match in May 2025.

“The significance and magnitude of this tour cannot be over-emphasised, and I would like to say a huge thank you to the ECB for committing to the resumption of cricketing relations between our countries that date back to the introduction of the game in Zimbabwe in the 1890s.

“The experience of playing a Test match against a top team like England is massive for the current generation of our players, coming at a time when our game as a whole is on an upward trajectory.”

England were due to be the only one of the 12 ICC full members not to play Zimbabwe in an bilateral series as per the 2022-2027 future tours programme. For the ECB, the move is part of a concerted effort to re-position itself as an ally to full member nations who had previously been overlooked for Test cricket.

England also have five home Tests against India scheduled for the 2025 home summer, while Lord’s is due to host the World Test Championship final.

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