Zimbabwe Cricket have voided the 2019-20 domestic season and will not declare winners in either the first-class competition or the 50-over tournament. Cricket in Zimbabwe has been suspended since March 18 and the country has been on lockdown since March 30. The stay-at-home order was due to end on May 3, but has been extended for a further two weeks.
At the time that cricket was stopped, Eagles were on top of the first-class points table, five ahead of Mountaineers, while Tuskers were leading the 50-over tournament, with Mountaineers in second place. Each team was due to play eight first-class matches and eight List A matches and at the time of the suspension, the teams had not played the same number of matches. In the first-class competition, Eagles, Tuskers and Rangers had each played six matches while Mountaineers and Rhinos had played five. In the List A tournament, Rhinos had played four matches and the rest five. As a result, ZC deemed it unfair to declare a winner.
“We were looking forward to the conclusion of our season, but seeing what is happening in our country and elsewhere across the world, we realised it was not realistic for us to expect our competitions to resume anytime soon,” Hamilton Masakadza, ZC director of cricket said. “ZC therefore decided to void the 2019/20 season with immediate effect and we will not declare a winner or award any of the trophies as teams had not played an equal number of games when the season was curtailed.”
Zimbabwe also had their home series against Ireland, scheduled for one Test and five T20Is in March-April, postponed. They now enter their off-season with their next fixtures due to be three ODIs in Australia in June followed by three ODIs against each of India and Netherlands at home at the start of the next season in September-October. Zimbabwe have not qualified for the T20 World Cup and are not part of the World Test Championship. Brendan Taylor believes they could be among the hardest hit cricket countries as the effect of the pandemic starts to take hold.