Zimbabwe's return to Test cricket might still be some way off, but it remains on the agenda after the first day of the ICC executive meeting in Dubai. Exactly when will depend on a series of recommendations from an ICC task team being implemented by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC).
The board was presented with a report from West Indies board president Julian Hunte following his fact-finding mission along with ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat to the country late last year. Hunte, who faces escalating pressure on his position following a string of crisis in the Caribbean, gave an encouraging report on the state of the game inside Zimbabwe
Hunte said that a sustainable return to Test cricket was possible when Zimbabwe's national representative sides had satisfied reasonable performance criteria in first-class and other multi-day matches. Recent displays suggest that time is still some way off, however.
He added that domestic structures had been upgraded and a longer and more competitive first-class league introduced.
The Zimbabwe board accepted the report's recommendations and agreed to continue to work with the ICC.
"Led by Hunte, we sat down and looked at the current structures and resources of Zimbabwe Cricket, spoke to stakeholders and assessed the current state of the game in the country," Lorgat said. "Our purpose was to create a pathway for a sustainable return for Zimbabwe to Test cricket as soon as practicably possible and we believe that, through this report, we have created the platform for that to happen."
Peter Chingoka, the ZC chairman, said he was "very grateful to the task team and the ICC for their efforts in this matter," adding that "we really believe that we have a talented group of youngsters that have the potential to play at the highest level with success and we look forward to ensuring that happens."