The matches, which were confirmed by Cricket Ireland, will take place on August 15th, 17th and 20th August and the news has been greeted with cautious optimism by the club.
Bready committee member Trevor Hamilton said that the club were delighted to be hosting International cricket in 2021 after losing out last season.
“We’re always pleased to host elite level cricket and obviously we were bitterly disappointed to miss out on the much anticipated New Zealand series last time. We had hoped that we might see South Africa or Pakistan this summer but we understand that the current climate makes these things difficult to facilitate.”
“It is good news that the North West will still host two Test-playing nations this summer and we are really looking forward to the series. Zimbabwe were here a couple of seasons ago and are a real quality side with some great players.
It’s still unclear if they games will have to be played behind closed doors, however the Bready man added that they were already preparing for what the 2022 season might bring.
“We have to look ahead in the short term and make use of the time we have now to improve our facilities,” he said. “Last March we had an assessment carried out by Dr Iain James, who is now Head of the ECB Facilities committee, who identified some recommended works to the outfield.
“With the support of Cricket Ireland, we have been planning carry out the work and ongoing maintenance which will allow us to provide Cricket Ireland with much more confidence in Bready as a venue.
“The club is already working on providing a 3-bay practice area with extended run-ups at our top field and this will be in operation before the start of the new season. It is a project we have financed ourselves during lockdown and it will enhance the general feel of the facility.
“While we will certainly look forward to whatever cricket there is this summer, we are thinking and planning beyond that to ensure that the North West is ready and able to host International games for many years to come.”
NWCU General Manager Peter McCartney said that while we would look forward to welcoming Zimbabwe to Bready later this year, now is also an ideal time for the club to carry out the necessary work on the main ground.
“Like Bready, the North West was obviously disappointed to miss out on the chance to host New Zealand last summer. However, we are pleased to be welcoming back Zimbabwe to Bready in August," he stated.
“Both Bready and the NWCU are committed to hosting International games in the North West for many years to come and the ground improvements this year will help that. It’s an ideal time now for the work to be carried out and the scheduling of the Zimbabwe series allows for this to happen. It’s also fantastic that the club is investing in a new training area that will be ready to go for the start of the season.
“We will continue to work with our funding partners in Cricket Ireland, Department for Communities and Derry City & Strabane District Council, to ensure sustained investment into the International ground.”