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Zimbabwe national cricket team
The Zimbabwe national cricket team is administered by Zimbabwe Cricket (formerly known as the Zimbabwe Cricket Union or ZCU). Zimbabwe has been a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 1992. As of November 2018, Zimbabwe is ranked tenth in Tests, eleventh in ODIs and twelfth in Twenty20 Internationals by the ICC.
Before Test status
Zimbabwe – known as Rhodesia until 1980 – had a national cricket team before it achieved Test status.
A brief summary of key moments:
- Rhodesia was represented in the South African domestic cricket tournament, the Currie Cup, sporadically from 1904 to 1932, and then regularly from 1946 until independence.
- Following independence, the country began to play more international cricket.
- On 21 July 1981, Zimbabwe became an associate member of the ICC.
- Zimbabwe participated in the 1983 Cricket World Cup, as well as the 1987 and 1992 events.
Zimbabwe's first World Cup campaign in 1983 ended in the group stage, as they lost five of their six matches. However, they threw a surprise against Australia. Batting first, Zimbabwe reached a total of 239 for 6 in the allotted 60 overs, with skipper Duncan Fletcher top-scoring with 69 not out. Fletcher then produced career-best figures of 4 for 42 to restrict Australia to 226 for 7, thereby recording a stunning upset in cricket history.
In the 1987 World Cup, Zimbabwe lost all six of their group-stage matches, though they came very close to winning against New Zealand. Chasing 243 to win from 50 overs, wicketkeeper-batsman David Houghton scored 142, but Zimbabwe were all out for 239 in the final over, thus losing by three runs.
In the 1992 tournament, Zimbabwe failed to progress beyond the round-robin stage, losing seven of their eight matches, though there were two notable achievements. Against Sri Lanka in their first match, Zimbabwe posted their then-highest total of 312 for 4, with wicketkeeper-batsman Andy Flower top-scoring with 115 not out. However, the Sri Lankans chased this total down with four balls to spare, winning by three wickets.
In their final match, Zimbabwe faced England in an inconsequential encounter, England having already made the semi-finals. Batting first, Zimbabwe were all out for 134. Eddo Brandes then produced a stunning spell of 4 for 21, including dismissing Graham Gooch first ball, to help restrict England to 125 all out and thus give Zimbabwe a shock nine-run victory.
9 June 1983
239/6 (60 overs)
226/7 (60 overs)
- Australia won the toss and elected to field.
- Despite this victory, Zimbabwe were knocked out in the group stage.
18 March 1992
134 (46.1 overs)
125 (49.1 overs)
- England won the toss and elected to field.
- Despite this victory, Zimbabwe were knocked out in the round-robin stage.
These twenty World Cup matches were Zimbabwe's only international games during this period.
1992–1996: Early years of Test status
Zimbabwe's early Test performances were consistently weak, leading to suggestions that they had been granted Test status prematurely. Of their first 30 Test matches, they won just one, at home against Pakistan in early 1995.
31 January–4 February 1995
- Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat.
- This Test was also notable in marking the debut of Henry Olonga, the first black cricketer to play for Zimbabwe. Despite the victory, Zimbabwe lost the three-Test series 2–1.
In the one-day arena, however, the team soon became competitive, if not particularly strong. In particular, world respect was gained for their fielding ability.
1997–2002: The golden era
In spite of his team's difficulties, wicket-keeper/batsman Andy Flower was at one point rated the best batsman in world cricket. During this era, Zimbabwe also produced such cricketers as Flower's brother Grant, and allrounders Andy Blignaut and Heath Streak (who was later appointed national captain). Murray Goodwin was also a world-class batsman; following his retirement from international cricket, he has scored heavily for Sussex. Another world-class batsman was David Houghton, who holds the record for the highest individual Test score for Zimbabwe of 266 against Sri Lanka in 1994/95. Sometime captain and middle order batsman Alistair Campbell, leg-spinning all rounder Paul Strang, Eddo Brandes, and pace bowler/opener Neil Johnson were other important contributors for Zimbabwe on the world stage at this time.
With the appearance of these quality players, a breakthrough was achieved in levels of performance in the late 1990s where the Zimbabwean team began winning Tests against other nations, which included a series win against Pakistan. Unfortunately, the political situation in Zimbabwe declined at around the same time, which had a detrimental effect on the national team's performances.
In the group stage, Zimbabwe beat India by three runs, before facing their neighbours South Africa, then the best team in the world. Batting first, Zimbabwe made 233 for 6, with a well-fought 76 by opening batsman Neil Johnson. In reply, South Africa collapsed to 40 for 6, before Lance Klusener and Shaun Pollock scored half-centuries to reduce the margin of defeat to 48 runs. This was South Africa's first defeat against Zimbabwe and one of Zimbabwe's most famous wins. Neil Johnson also excelled with the ball, taking three wickets and claiming the Man of the Match award. Johnson quit playing for Zimbabwe after this tournament.
29 May 1999
233/6 (50 overs)
185 (47.2 overs)
- Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat.
- Zimbabwe progressed to the Super Six stage.
During this period, Zimbabwe beat all Test-playing nations (except Australia) regularly. Zimbabwe beat New Zealand both home and away in 2000–2001. The team also reached finals of many multi-national one day tournaments.
2003–2004: Signs of decline
Increasing politicisation of cricket, including selectorial policy, along with the declining situation in Zimbabwe disrupted the 2003 Cricket World Cup, which was jointly hosted by Zimbabwe and South Africa.
England forfeited a match scheduled to be played in Zimbabwe, risking their own progress through the competition, citing "security concerns" as their reason.
Zimbabwean players Andy Flower and fast bowler Henry Olonga wore black armbands, for "mourning the death of democracy" in Zimbabwe. Both were immediately dismissed from the team and applied for political asylum overseas. This public political protest caused considerable embarrassment to the co-hosts and disrupted team harmony. 
Since the 2003 World Cup, with a succession of Zimbabwe's best players ending their international careers early, a new side began to develop, featuring the likes of Travis Friend, Andy Blignaut, Hamilton Masakadza, Douglas Hondo, Craig Wishart, Ray Price, Sean Ervine, Mark Vermeulen, Tatenda Taibu, Elton Chigumbura, Prosper Utseya, Dougie Marillier, and Barney Rogers. Whilst not of the same calibre of Streak, Goodwin, and the Flower brothers, this new breed of predominantly multi-disciplined players formed a solid backbone to a competitive, if usually unsuccessful, side.
In late 2003, Zimbabwe toured Australia in a two-match series. The series was more memorable for Australian opener Matthew Hayden's innings in the first Test – in which he overcame a back strain to score a then record 380 runs – than for the Zimbabwean performance.
Zimbabwe lost its first match against Bangladesh in 2004.
In 2004, captain Heath Streak was sacked by the ZCU (now Zimbabwe Cricket), prompting a walkout by 14 other players in protest against political influence in the team's management and selection policies. A scheduled tour by Sri Lanka went ahead, but this was a lopsided affair, with Zimbabwe represented by fringe players who were not of international standard.
Because of this, the ZCU accepted that Zimbabwe were to play no further Test cricket in 2004, though its status as a Test nation was unaffected.
2005–2009: Worsening political situation, steep decline and exodus of players
After a series of poor Test performances following the resignation of several senior players, the Zimbabwean team was voluntarily suspended from Test cricket in late 2005 by its cricket board, with ICC encouragement.
In early 2005, Heath Streak was reinstated into the national side, but the political situation in Zimbabwe involving Operation Murambatsvina disrupted the Zimbabwean team. During overseas tours, the players were often said to be buying necessities which were unavailable – or prohibitively expensive – at home, as opposed to the souvenirs which other touring teams would purchase.
In 2005 an agreement was signed which led to the return of many of the rebels to the Zimbabwe side. However, results failed to improve as in March Zimbabwe lost both their Tests on tour against South Africa by an innings. Worse was to follow in August, when they were crushed on home soil by New Zealand, in a match that was completed in just two days. In the process, Zimbabwe were humiliated; they became only the second side in Test history (after India in 1952) to be bowled out twice in the space of one day. Then they lost both their Tests to India at home later in September. After the series against India, Streak announced his retirement from international cricket, dealing yet another blow to the beleaguered team.
By November 2005, the players were once again in dispute with Zimbabwe Cricket over political interference in the management of the game, as well as contract negotiations, and the new captain, Tatenda Taibu, resigned from international cricket. By then the team had been further weakened by the departure of the likes of Dougie Marillier, Craig Wishart and Sean Ervine, all of whom retired in protest and expressed disillusionment in the local cricket hierarchy.
By January 2006, 37 Zimbabwean cricketers had failed to receive any offer of renegotiation talks from Zimbabwe Cricket after their contracts with the board had expired. This body of players demanded that the chairman and managing director of Zimbabwe Cricket, Peter Chingoka and Ozias Bvute, be removed from office for there to be any hope for the players to return to the international stage.
On 6 January 2006, the Sports and Recreation Commission, a division of the Zimbabwean government, took over the offices of Zimbabwe Cricket. The apparent takeover has resulted in the firing of all whites and Asians among the board directors, because of "their racial connotations and saving their own agendas and not government policy" according to Gibson Mashingaidze, an army brigadier and chairman of the government's Sports and Recreation Commission.
An interim board was appointed as the new leading party of cricket in Zimbabwe, with Peter Chingoka appointed as the committee's head. Given Chingoka's close ties to Bvute, it was likely that the latter would continue in his post as well.
On 18 January 2006, Zimbabwe Cricket announced that they were suspending the playing of Test cricket for the rest of the year. Zimbabwe's coach Kevin Curran said that Zimbabwe were aiming to play their next Test against the West Indies in November 2007. It was felt by observers that the Zimbabwean national team was not of sufficient Test standard, and that competing against Full Member sides would do little to improve standards, given the likely one-sided nature of the games. Bangladesh, for a long time seen as the 'whipping boys' of Test cricket, recorded their first win against Zimbabwe, and were thereafter regarded as being of a superior standard. On 8 August 2011, Zimbabwe recorded a resounding victory in the one Test match series over Bangladesh, played in Harare.
Domestically, the Logan Cup – Zimbabwe's first class competition played amongst the provinces – was cancelled in 2006 for the first time since its inception over a century ago (though the Cup was not played during some of the years of the World Wars). This was widely seen as due to concern by ZC that the standard of play would be so poor as to be both not worthwhile and potentially harmful to the external image of cricket in Zimbabwe. The one-day trophy, the Faithwear Cup, was contested, and drew complaints from observers that the quality was less than club level. As well as player exodus, the main reason for this catastrophic fall in standards was put down to wrangling within Zimbabwe Cricket, where internal politics motivated the removal of the historic provinces and their replacement with revamped, newly designated provincial teams. Zimbabwe's economic collapse led to scanty attendance at games and players not receiving their salaries for long periods of time.
In a further harmful incident, ex-player Mark Vermeulen was arrested after attempting to burn down ZC's offices, and successfully destroying the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy's premises. In a nation in increasing social and economic turmoil, such facilities are hard to replace, and their loss has proven difficult to manage for a cricket administration already short of top quality facilities.
In the period leading up to the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, and to stop a similar exodus of players as after the 2003 World Cup, the selected players were asked to sign a new contract. The players were summoned to meet Ozias Bvute, Zimbabwe Cricket's managing director, a week or so before they were due to set off and given an ultimatum – sign the contract on offer or be removed from the squad. It is understood that they were not allowed to take advice, and were told they had to make the decision there and then.
One player told his teammates that there were certain things contained in the contracts that needed clarification. He was summoned back into Bvute's office and warned that it was a take-it-or-leave-it offer: this player was later revealed to be Anthony Ireland. Another said that when he told Bvute he wanted to consult with friends, Bvute picked up the phone and called Kenyon Ziehl, the head of selection, and told him he wanted the player replaced in the squad. Unsurprisingly, the player backed down and signed.
In light of the poor state of Zimbabwe's finances, and that Zimbabwe Cricket had to borrow around US$1 million in early 2007 pending receipt of monies from the World Cup to help them over an ongoing cash crisis, the board agreed to pay match fees in US dollars. The players were to be paid US$2000 per appearance and a series of US$500 bonuses based on wickets taken and fifties scored. The maximum payment was believed to be capped at around US$8000. However, fees were not paid until June 2007 to stop the exodus and help cash flow.
The spectre of continued problems with the ZC board influenced some players to cut their losses and seek to finish their careers abroad: Anthony Ireland accepted a contract to play for Gloucestershire during 2007, while opener Vusi Sibanda also left. More are thought to be considering following suit.
Zimbabwe upset Australia in its opening match of the Twenty20 World Championship in Cape Town, defeating them by 5 wickets. Brendan Taylor led the way for Zimbabwe, with first class wicket keeping (a catch, stumping and run out) and a crucial unbeaten 60 from 45 deliveries. He was announced as Man of the Match. They then lost to England by 50 runs, meaning they exited the tournament at the first stage due to their net run rate being inferior to both Australia and England after Australia had beaten England in the other group match.
138/9 (20 overs)
139/5 (19.5 overs)
There was more encouraging news in October 2007, when it was announced that Zimbabwe would compete in all three domestic competitions in South Africa as part of Cricket South Africa's attempts to improve the standard of cricket in Zimbabwe.
However, their participation in the above competitions was thrown into doubt when the plans were postponed pending a Cricket South Africa board meeting. A compromise was reached late in November 2007, meaning Zimbabwe would have taken part in the MTN Domestic Championship and the Standard Bank Pro 20 Series, but not the SuperSport Series as originally planned. Instead, they played three first-class four-day games against a South African Composite XI made up of franchise and provincial players. The three games, in Paarl, Potchefstroom, and Kimberley were all won by Zimbabwe.
In between those games, they played a five match One Day International series against the West Indies, scoring an upset win in the opening match before losing the series 3–1. The final match was abandoned due to rain.
Zimbabwe's performance against Bangladesh during this time was extremely poor as they lost every ODI series except one at home, including a 0–5 whitewash in 2006.
Zimbabwe also lost against non-Test playing nation Kenya very often. But in 2009, they bounced back beating their African neighbours 9–1 in ten games.
2010–2013: Return to Tests and continued financial problems
Zimbabwe won an ODI and a T20I during their tour of the West Indies. Zimbabwe reached the finals of a triangular tournament which included India and Sri Lanka. They lost their remaining matches in the year except against Ireland whom they beat 2–1 at home.
Zimbabwe started their World Cup 2011 campaign with a 91-run defeat by Australia at Ahmadabad on 21 February 2011. They then recorded a comfortable victory over Canada, before losing by 10 wickets to New Zealand on 4 March 2011. Further heavy defeats by Sri Lanka and Pakistan followed, before a consolation victory over Kenya was achieved in Zimbabwe's final game of the tournament. After these defeats, opening batsman Brendan Taylor was announced as captain of all formats on 24 June 2011, replacing Elton Chigumbura.
Zimbabwe returned to Test cricket on 4 August 2011 after a six-year exile, hosting Bangladesh in a one-off Test match at Harare. The national team's re-introduction to Test cricket was successful, as they won by 130 runs.
4–8 August 2011
- Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field.
As part of the lead-up to their Test return, Zimbabwe Cricket announced major upgrades to the Harare Sports Club and Mutare Sports Club grounds. Plans for a new Test ground at Victoria Falls were also revealed. ZC also signed a US$1 million deal with Reebok to sponsor the domestic competitions and manufacture the kits of the national team for three years.
Zimbabwe were beaten in all the formats by Pakistan. After this they played a home series with New Zealand. They were defeated 2–0 in the T20I series, and New Zealand were 2–0 up in the ODI series. The final ODI was being played at the Queen's Sports Club, Bulawayo. They were at a 12-match losing streak at that time.
Furthermore, when batting first, New Zealand scored 328 in 50 overs, nobody gave Zimbabwe a chance of winning. The Zimbabweans have never chased an ODI total in excess of 300 before. However, they did it successfully for the first time in their history.
Zimbabwe's main aim in the innings break was to lose with dignity. When opener Vusi Sibanda was out for a duck, even that seemed to be a tall order, but skipper Brendan Taylor changed the entire complexion of the match. Taylor scored a brilliant 75 before he was dismissed fresh from the centuries he scored from the last games.
After Taylor's dismissal, Tatenda Taibu's speedy fifty kept Zimbabwe in the hunt. However, the match-changing partnership was between the two all-rounders Malcolm Waller and Elton Chigumbura. Waller played one of the greatest innings in ODI history as he scored 99*. In the end, he even did not think of his century, but to just take his team over the line. His unselfishness brought about for Zimbabwe a much-needed victory. His partner Chigumbura scored a brisk 47 and was quite unlucky to miss out on his half-century, bowled by Jacob Oram after he along with Waller had taken the equation below a run a ball. When Keegan Meth was bowled two balls later for a duck, Waller kept his cool as he marshalled the middle order efficiently, assisted by a six by debutant Natsai Mushangwe, and then enough support by Ray Price brought the scores level. After Price was dismissed (caught), it was the last wicket Zimbabwe had and the new man in was another debutant Njabulo Ncube. Waller is said to have advised him, "'No matter what happens, if I get bat on ball, let's take the run.' And the run they did take, thereby recording a legendary victory for Zimbabwe. According to an interview later, Waller said that he was thinking of a swing and get the ball over the ground so that both his team could win and he could get a century, but later he thought that he would rather take the team home rather than get 100,". Waller was the Man of the Match for his spectacular performance, while Brendan Taylor was Man of the Series.
25 October 2011
328/5 (50 overs)
329/9 (49.5 overs)
- New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat.
- Despite this victory, Zimbabwe lost the series 2–1. Nonetheless, Brendan Taylor received the Man of the Series award.
Zimbabwe came close to winning the solitary Test between the teams. Chasing 366 to win in their second innings, Zimbabwe were well placed at 265 for 3, with Taylor making 117, before a collapse handed New Zealand a 34-run victory.
Zimbabwe then toured New Zealand in January and February 2012 for a single-Test, three-ODI and two-T20I series, but lost all six matches. In the Test, they were bowled out twice on the third day – for 51 (their lowest Test score) and 143 – to lose by an innings and 301 runs.
In June 2012, Zimbabwe beat South Africa in a t20 match of an unofficial triangular T20 tournament where Bangladesh national cricket team also featured. This was the 3rd match of the tournament. They beat South Africa by 29 runs. They also had beaten Bangladesh in the first match of that tournament by 10 runs. In the 3rd match against South Africa, although there were no AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis, the South Africa team were very much strong. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza opened the innings and scored 58 and 55 respectively. The wicket keeper captain Brendan Taylor scored a quickfire 38 from 21 balls in the end. They scored 176/4 in 20 overs. Coming to chase, South African batsmen Richard Levi and Colin Ingram scored 40 and 48 respectively. But the other batsmen struggle to make it and went all out on 147 within 19.2 overs. Christopher Mpofu took 3 for 20. In the next meetings with South Africa and Bangladesh, Zimbabwe lost both of the matches and ended in the same points as those of South Africa and Bangladesh. Due to better net run rates, Zimbabwe and South Africa progressed to the final. On 24 June 2012, in the final match, South Africa batted first and scored 146 runs with the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs. While an early collapse occurred in their innings, South Africa managed to get back with a fair score as Faf du Plessis scored 66 off 57 balls and Albie Morkel scored a quickfire 34 not out off 23 balls. Kyle Jarvis of Zimbabwe took 2 wickets for 22 runs. coming out to chase, Zimbabwe started well but Vusi Sibanda went out on 24 off 16. But then the captain Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza well built the innings scoring 59 not out and 58 not out respectively. They took Zimbabwe to victory as they scored 150 for the loss of 1 wicket in 17.1 overs. Zimbabwe won by 9 wickets and clinched the T20 series in front of a full house packed with native Zimbabwean crowd at the Harare Sports Club ground. Brendan Taylor was the man of the match and Hamilton Masakadza got the man of the series award.
Zimbabwe lost all their matches in 2010 and 2012 World t20s in the opening stage.
Zimbabwe toured West Indies again in 2013. This time they were less successful and lost all matches.
Zimbabwe then hosted Bangladesh in June. They won the One Day International series 2–1 while the Test and T20I series were tied 1–1. They then lost an ODI series 0–5 at home to world champions India.
During August and September 2013, Zimbabwe hosted Pakistan in a two-Test, three-ODI and two-T20I series. Pakistan won both T20Is, before coming from behind to win the ODI series 2–1. They then won the first Test following a double-century by Younis Khan in the second innings. However, Zimbabwe won the second Test by 24 runs – their first Test victory against a team other than Bangladesh since 2001 – to draw the series 1–1.
10–14 September 2013
- Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat.
- The two-Test series was drawn 1–1.
Throughout the period, Zimbabwe's financial condition deeply worsened. The ICC had to step in and provide financial assistance but the usage of monetary benefits has been a question of debate. Zimbabwe players have threatened boycott many times of late and have formed a players' Union. Zimbabwe team has struggled to attract sponsors and this has affected its domestic structure leading to cancellation of many tournaments such as Pro40. A number of franchises also have been cancelled. Multiple tours have been postponed, cancelled or have gone un-televised.
2014–2019: Fall in rankings, loss to associates and failure to reach 2019 World Cup
At the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe were eliminated in the group stage. A last-ball defeat against Ireland was followed by victories over the Netherlands (also off the last ball) and the United Arab Emirates, but a resounding win for the Netherlands over Ireland meant that the Dutch progressed to the Super 10 stage on net run-rate.
In July 2014, Zimbabwe hosted Afghanistan in a four-ODI series. They won the first two matches, before the Afghans won the last two to draw the series. The following month, Zimbabwe hosted South Africa in a single-Test and three-ODI series, losing all four matches.
Following the South African tour, Australia arrived in Zimbabwe for a triangular ODI series with the hosts and South Africa. While Zimbabwe lost their first two matches, to Australia and South Africa respectively, they pulled off a significant upset by beating Australia in the 4th match of the series. This was the first time Zimbabwe had beaten Australia in 31 years, with their last win coming in the 1983 world cup in England. Despite this win, Zimbabwe lost their final match and were knocked out of the tournament.
31 August 2014
209/9 (50 overs)
211/7 (48 overs)
- Australia won toss and elected to bat.
- Zimbabwe's victory over Australia was their first ODI win against them in 31 years.
In late 2014, Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh for a three-Test and five-ODI series. They lost all eight matches. Following this, Stephen Mangongo was sacked as coach. In late December 2014, Zimbabwe Cricket appointed Dav Whatmore as coach, replacing Mangongo.
Zimbabwe geared up for the 2015 Cricket World Cup by winning all games against Northern Districts XI before facing New Zealand in their first warm-up game. New Zealand were reduced to 157/7 before rain intervened. In the next game, Zimbabwe upset Sri Lanka by seven wickets. Zimbabwe lost their opening game to South Africa, following which they beat the United Arab Emirates before losing to West Indies. Zimbabwe then went on to lose a close encounter to Pakistan.
During the Pool B match between Ireland and Zimbabwe, Sean Williams was caught by Ireland's John Mooney in a close run chase. Mooney was extremely close to the boundary and eight different television replays were inconclusive as to whether his foot had touched the boundary rope. Meanwhile, Williams had walked and the umpires signaled him out. Zimbabwe went on to lose the game and were knocked out of the tournament as a result. In their last game, Zimbabwe lost to India. Zimbabwe finished their world cup campaign with just one win over UAE in the first round. Despite this, Zimbabwe turned out to be very competitive and suffered four of the closest losses in the preliminary round of the tournament.
During the tournament, Brendan Taylor announced his retirement from Zimbabwe cricket even as he finished the tournament with 433 runs and two centuries. At the finish of the tournament, Taylor was among the leading run-getters of the tournament.
In May 2015, Zimbabwe became the first team in six years to tour Pakistan. Zimbabwe lost the T20I series 0–2 and the ODI series by an identical margin. In July that year, Zimbabwe hosted India and lost the ODI series 0–3, while the T20I series was tied 1–1, which included Zimbabwe's first T20I win in Harare.
Zimbabwe then hosted New Zealand in August for a three match ODI series and won the first game but went on to lose the series 1–2, as well as the lone T20I. Pakistan arrived in late September following a decision to postpone their tour. Pakistan won the T20Is 2–0 and the ODI series 2–1.
Following the series against Pakistan, Zimbabwe simultaneously hosted associates Ireland and Afghanistan in October. Zimbabwe beat Ireland 2–1 in ODIs. But, Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe 3–2 to win the ODI series. This was the first time an associate nation had beaten a full member in a bilateral series. Zimbabwe then went on to lose the T20I series 0–2 as well to Afghanistan. After series of losses within home soil, Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh in November. But, losses continued to attack Zimbabweans, where they lost the ODI series 0–3, while the T20Is were drawn 1–1.
At the end of 2015 and the start of 2016, Zimbabwe contested a five-ODI and two-T20I series against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates. They took the ODI series to the deciding match before losing 3–2, and lost both T20Is. Zimbabwe then toured Bangladesh for a four-T20I series which was drawn 2–2.
After Chigumbura stepped down as captain, Hamilton Masakadza was named skipper. During the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, Zimbabwe were knocked out in the first round after they lost to Afghanistan by 59 runs.
Zimbabwe axed coach Whatmore and captain Hamilton Masakadza before India tour in mid 2016. Makhaya Ntini the bowling coach was given interim responsibility of coaching while previously appointed vice-captain Graeme Cremer who had missed the ICC World Twenty20 2016 was appointed stand-in captain. Lance Klusener was appointed batting coach on a full-time basis.
India toured Zimbabwe for the fourth time in about six years for a three ODI and three t20I series. Indian selectors rested most of its senior players with the exception of skipper MS Dhoni who visited the country for the first time in the decade. Zimbabwe were thrashed 0–3 in the ODI series which led to angry reactions by the fans. To add injury to insult, several key Zimbabwe players like Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Vusi Sibanda, Luke Jongwe, Richmond Mutumbami and Tinashe Panyangara were injured before or during the t20 series. Despite this, Zimbabwe managed to win the first T20I by two runs before going down meekly in the second. The series remained tied 1–1 after two games. In the last game, Zimbabwe went down fighting by 3 runs to lose the series 1–2. In 2016 season, New Zealand toured Zimbabwe in late July and won both tests convincingly, recorded as the Zimbabwe's sixth straight loss to Kiwis.
Before the Sri Lanka tour on late September, Streak was appointed as head coach of Zimbabwe, with Ntini appointed as bowling coach. The task was given to qualify for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and go up through the ranks in coming years. Zimbabwe played their 100th Test match on 29 October 2016 against Sri Lanka, but lost the match by 225 runs in the last hour of the fifth day after a fighting innings by skipper Graeme Cremer. Zimbabwe went on to lose the two match series 0–2.
The test series was followed by a tri-series also featuring West Indies. Zimbabwe advanced to the finals with four different results – a loss, a tie, a no-result and a win. However, Zimbabwe lost the final to Sri Lanka by six wickets. In early 2017, Afghanistan again defeated Zimbabwe in the ODI series and won the series 3–2.
After 15 years, Zimbabwe toured Sri Lanka for 5-ODIs and single Test in late June 2017. In the first match against Sri Lanka at Galle on 30 June 2017, Zimbabwe recorded their first ODI win against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, which is also recorded as their first win in any format against them within Sri Lanka. Solomon Mire scored a match winning century and Zimbabwe successfully chased 319, which was also recorded as the first successful chase over 300 in Sri Lankan soil.
Despite the opening win, Zimbabwe went on to lose the next two games but bounced back to win the fourth game in a rain affected match. In the fifth game, Sri Lanka set Zimbabwe a total of 204 runs to chase with Sikandar Raza claiming a career best 3/21. In reply, Zimbabwe were 137–1 thanks to Hamilton Masakadza's 73 before a collapse saw them lose six wickets before reaching 175. Skipper Cremer joined Raza to score the remaining runs and Zimbabwe won with about 12 overs to spare.
10 July 2017
203/8 (50 overs)
204/7 (38.1 overs)
- Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to field.
- Zimbabwe won the series 3–2.
- This was Zimbabwe's first series win against Sri Lanka.
- This was Zimbabwe's first away series win since 2009.
- This was Zimbabwe's first away series win against a test team since 2001.
- This was Zimbabwe's first series win against a test team other than Bangladesh since 2001.
- Hamilton Masakadza was declared man of the series.
Zimbabwe lost the following one-off test by 4 wickets, partly due to a controversial stumping decision on the fifth day of the test. Despite this, Zimbabwe team and especially coach Heath Streak were showered with praises on their return.
Zimbabwe lost the first match and the two test series 0-1 to West Indies. However, their draw in the second game was their first in over 12 years and they also earned their first points on the ICC rankings table while ending their ten match losing streak.
Zimbabwe finished the year with an innings defeat within two days against South Africa in a rare four day test.
Zimbabwe began 2018 with one win (against Sri Lanka) out of four games in a tri-series that involved hosts Bangladesh. They failed to qualify for the finals.
Zimbabwe's next commitment was in the UAE where they again lost 0-2 to Afghanistan in a t20 series. This was followed by yet another ODI series defeat (1-4) against Afghanistan. In March, Zimbabwe hosted nine other teams in the qualifiers for the 2019 ICC World Cup to decide the top two teams that will join the elite eight at cricket's premier event to be held in England and Wales. Zimbabwe were placed in group B alongside Afghanistan, Nepal, Hong Kong and Scotland. Zimbabwe progressed to the super sixes by beating Nepal, Afghanistan and Hong Kong and earning a tie with Scotland. Zimbabwe beat Ireland in the first game of the super sixes but lost the second to West Indies. Needing to win their last game, Zimbabwe suffered a shock loss by 3 runs against UAE and were knocked out of the tournament. This was the first time Zimbabwe had failed to qualify for the Cricket World Cup.
With this failure, Zimbabwe Cricket sacked all the national coaching staff, national captain, under-19 coach and national selector from their positions. During a press conference, ZC suggested that Brendan Taylor would take over leadership of the team. In May 2018, ZC announced the appointment of Lalchand Rajput as interim head coach. In August 2018, he was confirmed as the permanent coach of the team.
In July 2018, Zimbabwe hosted Australia and Pakistan in a T20I tri-series. Zimbabwe players - Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza - refused to play after being not paid their salaries for about a year which resulted in a depleted Zimbabwe side losing their games heavily and getting knocked out in the first round. This was followed by a five-ODI series against Pakistan where Zimbabwe - further rattled by the losses of Malcolm Waller, Solomon Mire and Kyle Jarvis - lost all five games by heavy margins.
Zimbabwe's losing streak in international matches was extended to nineteen as the team lost the ODI series (0-3) and the t20I series (0-2) in South Africa in October and the ODI series (0-3) in Bangladesh in the same month. Zimbabwe put an end to the streak by winning the first test against Bangladesh by 151 runs. This was the Chevrons' first away win since 2001. The series was eventually tied 1-1.
2019 began on a bad note for Zimbabwe with Graeme Cremer putting his career on hold and proposed tours of India and Afghanistan being called off. Zimbabwe retained Hamilton Masakadza as skipper for all formats (despite the cricketer having not won a single limited overs match) while Peter Moor was named deputy. However, Masakadza along with Taylor missed the series against UAE due to injury. Moor captained the team in Masakadza's absence. Under Moor, Zimbabwe recorded their first series clean sweep in over a decade by beating UAE 4-0.
Masakadza returned along with Taylor for Zimbabwe's tour to the Netherlands. Zimbabwe lost the ODI series 0-2. After Netherlands won the first t20i, the second game ended in a dramatic tie. Zimbabwe won the super over to tie the series 1-1. During the tour, Zimbabwe's cricket board was suspended and was replaced by an interim board.  Zimbabwe also lost the ODI series 0-3 in the subsequent tour of Ireland. The t20I series was tied 1-1.
ICC voluntarily suspended the Zimbabwe Cricket on 18 July 2019 from ICC tournaments citing political interventions in the Cricket Board of Zimbabwe. The decision taken by ICC panel left several players frustrated. Due to the ban, Zimbabwe could not compete in the qualifiers for 2020 ICC World Twenty20. Zimbabwe's board was reinstated by their government soon after, but the suspension stayed. During the time, Solomon Mire and captain Hamilton Masakadza (under whom Zimbabwe had lost all 25 completed ODIs) announced their retirements.
Despite the suspension by the ICC, Zimbabwe Cricket confirmed that they would still be participating in the 2019–20 Bangladesh Tri-Nation Series, as they can still play against other ICC members. The tri-series started on 13 September, with the final scheduled to be held on 24 September. Masakadza's last assignment led to Zimbabwe winning one game out of four and bowing out of the tournament. 
Under new stand-in captain Sean Williams and missing many of their regular players, Zimbabwe toured Singapore to play in a finalless tri nation series also involving Nepal. Zimbabwe beat Nepal in the first game but lost to 21st ranked Singapore in the second. Zimbabwe won the next two games to register their first ever series win in t20i format. In October 2019, the ICC lifted its suspension on Zimbabwe Cricket, allowing them to take part in future ICC events.
- Director of Cricket: Hamilton Masakadza
- Head coach: Lalchand Rajput
- Batting Coach: Stuart Matsikenyeri
- Bowling Coach: Douglas Hondo
- Fielding Coach:
- Analyst: Stanley Chioza
- Fitness Trainer: Walter Karimanzira
In test cricket, Zimbabwe wears cricket whites with the Zimbabwe Bird insignia on the left side of the chest and the sponsor logo on the right side of the chest. Fielders wear a dark green cap or a white sunhat, also with the Zimbabwe Bird insignia. The helmets worn by the batsmen are coloured similarly.
In ODI and T20 cricket, Zimbabwe wears red kits, usually with yellow accents, or sometimes green or black. Fielders wear a red baseball cap or a red sunhat. The batsman helmet is dark green. In ICC competitions, the sponsor logo is on the left sleeve and the inscription "ZIMBABWE" is on the front of the shirt.
The current uniforms are manufactured by Vega Sportswear. Previous manufacturers were Reebok (2011-2013), Ihsan Sports (2004-2007), Asics (1999) and International Sports Clothing (1992-1996). PPC Zimbabwe is the current sponsor since 2018. Previous sponsors were Castle Lager (2013-2018), CBZ Limited (2010-2013), Old Mutual Life Assurance (2002-2004) and Zimbabwe Sun.
Players are included here because of outstanding achievement or other prominence/notoriety. For a fuller list of Zimbabwean cricketers, see Category:Zimbabwean cricketers.
- Eddo Brandes – Fast bowler; first Zimbabwean to take an ODI hat-trick. Originally a chicken farmer; later became a coach in Australia.
- Alistair Campbell – Former national captain and opening batsman; later an administrator and convener of selectors.
- Kevin Curran – Former all-rounder and Zimbabwe coach (2005–2007).
- Sean Ervine – elder brother of Craig. Currently plays county cricket for Hampshire.
- Andy Flower – Wicket-keeper batsman, former national captain and black arm-band demonstrator. Once ranked as the top batsman in Test cricket. Coached the England team from 2009 to 2014.
- Grant Flower – Also played county cricket for Leicestershire and Essex, the latter alongside elder brother Andy. Retired from playing in 2010 and became a batting coach, first for Zimbabwe and currently for Pakistan.
- Murray Goodwin – Born in Salisbury (now Harare), he began his career with Western Australia in 1994. Played county cricket for Sussex and Glamorgan; retired from playing in 2014 having made 71 first-class hundreds. Currently batting coach for Sussex.
- Graeme Hick – Member of 1983 World Cup squad at the age of 17 and represented Zimbabwe until 1986. Qualified for England and played international cricket from 1991 to 2001. Worcestershire County Cricket Club legend, for whom he compiled 106 of his 136 first-class hundreds.
- David Houghton – Former national captain, has the highest individual Test score for Zimbabwe (266). Later coached Derbyshire; is currently a batting consultant for the Ireland national team.
- Kyle Jarvis – Son of Malcolm. Talented fast bowler, represented Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2013; signed a Kolpak deal and played for Lancashire before returning to Zimbabwe in September 2017
- Neil Johnson – Born in Salisbury (now Harare). An all-rounder, opened both the batting and bowling for his country in the 1999 World Cup. He won three Man-of-the-Match awards and was influential in Zimbabwe's qualification to the Super 6 stage of the tournament.
- Hamilton Masakadza – Talented batsman and former national captain. Made history by scoring a century on his Test debut at the age of 17 in 2001; was also the first black Zimbabwean to score a first-class century, and the first batsman to make two scores of 150 or more in the same ODI series (against Kenya in 2009).
- Henry Olonga – Quick bowler, musician and black arm-band demonstrator. Olonga was the first black Zimbabwean to represent the country in 1995.
- Trevor Penney – Represented Zimbabwe before becoming a Warwickshire County Cricket Club stalwart from 1992 to 2005. Since retirement, his employment as fielding coach (an art in which he excelled) has been much sought-after, currently assisting the Indian national team.
- Ray Price – Spin bowler; one of the few white players to regularly represent Zimbabwe before and after the rebellion of 2004. Also played county cricket for Worcestershire.
- Paul Strang – elder brother of Bryan. Spin bowler and all-rounder, instrumental in Zimbabwe's rise in the mid to late 1990s; current coach of the Auckland Aces.
- Heath Streak – Former national captain and leading wicket-taker for Zimbabwe in both Test and ODI cricket. Later became bowling coach for both Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
- Tatenda Taibu – Talented wicket-keeper batsman; became Zimbabwe's first black national captain in 2004 and – at 20 – the youngest Test captain ever, a record he retains as of 2016. Quit cricket for the Church in 2012, but returned to the sport in 2016 as a convener of selectors and development officer.
- Brendan Taylor – Regarded as one of Zimbabwe's few post-isolation international class players, became the first Zimbabwean batsman to hit back-to-back One Day International centuries and the first batsman to score more than 300 runs in a three-match ODI series. He opted for a Kolpak deal with Nottinghamshire after the 2015 World Cup. Returned to Zimbabwe in September 2017.
- Charles Coventry – Coventry jointly held the record for the highest score in ODIs with Saeed Anwar after equaling his 194 versus Bangladesh in 2009 at Bulawayo, until it was surpassed by Sachin Tendulkar's 200* vs South Africa in 2010.
- John Traicos – Born in Egypt of Greek descent, represented South Africa in 1970 before excommunication. Accurate off-spin bowler who broke records for longevity of Test career when Zimbabwe debuted in 1992. Popular in quizzes – representing two countries in internationals but born in neither.
- Prosper Utseya – Spin bowler and former national captain. Second-highest ODI wicket-taker in ODIs, and second Zimbabwean to take an ODI hat-trick.
- Guy Whittall – cousin of Andy Whittall. All-rounder and former captain.
- Graeme Cremer – Leg spin bowler and captain. Leading wicket taker in T20 internationals for Zimbabwe.
- Stuart Carlisle – Middle order Batsman and former captain. He represented Zimbabwean national cricket team for 10 years and played 111 ODI and 37 test matches.
- Elton Chigumbura - Fast bowling all rounder. Has taken over 100 ODI wickets and scored over 4000 ODI runs for Zimbabwe. Captained the team twice periods, first in 2010, then from 2014 till 2016. Also represented the U19 team in 2 world cups. Also a well travelled and explosive T20 batsman with a high strike rate
|World Cup record|
|1975||Not eligible (not an ICC member)|
|2019||Did Not Qualify|
|World Twenty20 record|
|2020||Not eligible (Suspended)|
- 1979: Not eligible (not an ICC member)
- 1982: Won
- 1986: Won
- 1990: Won
- 1994-2014: Not eligible (ICC Full member)
- 2018: 3rd (hosts)
ICC Champions Trophy
|ICC Champions Trophy record|
|2009||Did not qualify (outside top 8 in ODI rankings)|
- 1998: Group stage
|Test matches||107||12||68||0||27||18 October 1992|
|One-Day Internationals||526||138||370||7||11||9 June 1983|
|Twenty20 Internationals||74||18||54||2||0||28 November 2006|
Last updated 3 October 2019.
- Highest team total: 563/9 declared v. West Indies, 27–31 July 2001 at Harare
- Highest individual score: 266, Dave Houghton v. Sri Lanka, 20–24 October 1994 at Bulawayo
- Most individual runs in a match: 341, Andy Flower (142 and 199 not out) v. South Africa, 7–11 September 2001 at Harare
- Best individual bowling figures in an innings: 8/109, Paul Strang v. New Zealand, 12–16 September 2000 at Bulawayo
- Best individual bowling figures in a match: 11/255, Adam Huckle (6/109 and 5/146) v. New Zealand, 25–29 September 1997 at Bulawayo
Most Test runs for Zimbabwe
Most Test wickets for Zimbabwe
Test record versus other nations
|Opponent||M||W||L||T||D||First match||First win|
|Australia||3||0||3||0||0||14 October 1999|
|Bangladesh||16||7||6||0||3||19 April 2001||22 April 2001|
|England||6||0||3||0||3||18 December 1996|
|India||11||2||7||0||2||18 October 1992||10 October 1998|
|New Zealand||17||0||11||0||6||1 November 1992|
|Pakistan||17||3||10||0||4||1 December 1993||4 February 1995|
|South Africa||9||0||8||0||1||13 October 1995|
|Sri Lanka||18||0||13||0||5||11 October 1994|
|West Indies||10||0||7||0||3||16 March 2000|
Records complete to Test #2325. Last updated 6 November 2018.
- Highest team total: 351/7 v. Kenya, 29 January 2009 at Mombasa
- Highest individual score: 194 not out, Charles Coventry v. Bangladesh, 16 August 2009 at Bulawayo
- Best individual bowling figures: 6/19, Henry Olonga v. England, 28 January 2000 at Cape Town
Most ODI runs for Zimbabwe
Most ODI wickets for Zimbabwe
ODI record versus other nations
|Opponent||M||W||L||T||NR||First match||First win|
|v. Test nations|
|Afghanistan||25||10||15||0||0||18 July 2014||18 July 2014|
|Australia||30||2||27||0||1||9 June 1983||9 June 1983|
|Bangladesh||72||28||44||0||0||11 October 1997||11 October 1997|
|England||30||8||21||0||1||18 March 1992||18 March 1992|
|India||63||10||51||2||0||11 June 1983||7 February 1997|
|Ireland||13||6||6||1||0||15 March 2007||17 October 2008|
|New Zealand||38||9||27||1||1||10 October 1987||3 February 1996|
|Pakistan||59||4||52||1||2||27 February 1992||26 February 1995|
|South Africa||41||2||38||0||1||10 March 1992||29 May 1999|
|Sri Lanka||57||11||44||0||2||23 February 1992||5 November 1994|
|West Indies||48||10||36||1||1||13 June 1983||26 July 1999|
|v. Associate Members|
|Bermuda||2||2||0||0||0||18 May 2006||18 May 2006|
|Canada||2||2||0||0||0||16 May 2006||16 May 2006|
|Hong Kong||1||1||0||0||0||10 March 2018||10 March 2018|
|Kenya||32||25||5||0||2||26 February 1996||27 February 1996|
|Namibia||1||1||0||0||0||10 February 2003||10 February 2003|
|Netherlands||3||1||2||0||0||28 February 2003||28 February 2003|
|Scotland||3||1||1||1||0||15 June 2017||17 June 2017|
|United Arab Emirates||6||5||1||0||0||19 February 2015||19 February 2015|
Records complete to ODI #4189. Last updated 7 July 2019.
- Highest team total: 200/2 v. New Zealand, 14 February 2012 at Hamilton
- Highest individual score: 94, Solomon Mire v. Pakistan, 4 July 2018 at Harare
- Best individual bowling figures: 4/28, Wellington Masakadza v. Scotland, 10 March 2016 at Nagpur
Most T20I runs for Zimbabwe
Most T20I wickets for Zimbabwe
T20I record versus other nations
|Opponent||M||W||L||T||NR||First match||First win|
|v. Test nations|
|Afghanistan||9||1||8||0||0||26 October 2015||20 September 2019|
|Australia||3||1||2||0||0||12 September 2007||12 September 2007|
|Bangladesh||11||4||7||0||0||28 November 2006||11 May 2013|
|England||1||0||1||0||0||13 September 2007|
|India||7||2||5||0||0||12 June 2010||19 July 2015|
|Ireland||3||1||2||0||0||17 March 2014||14 July 2019|
|New Zealand||6||0||6||0||0||4 May 2010|
|Pakistan||11||0||11||0||0||12 October 2008|
|South Africa||5||0||5||0||0||8 October 2010|
|Sri Lanka||3||0||3||0||0||10 October 2008|
|West Indies||3||1||2||0||0||28 February 2010||28 February 2010|
|v. Associate Members|
|Canada||2||1||0||1||0||11 October 2008||13 October 2008|
|Hong Kong||1||1||0||0||0||8 March 2016||8 March 2016|
|Nepal||2||2||0||0||0||27 September 2019||27 September 2019|
|Netherlands||3||1||1||1||0||19 March 2014||19 March 2014|
|Scotland||1||1||0||0||0||10 March 2016||10 March 2016|
|Singapore||2||1||1||0||0||29 September 2019||3 October 2019|
|United Arab Emirates||1||1||0||0||0||21 March 2014||21 March 2014|
Records complete to T20I #902. Last updated 3 October 2019.
- Zimbabwean women's cricket team
- Cricket in Zimbabwe
- List of Zimbabwe Test cricketers
- List of Zimbabwe ODI cricketers
- List of Zimbabwe Twenty20 International cricketers
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