HARARE, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Two English cricket teams will tour Zimbabwe for the first time in two decades as relations between Zimbabwe and Britain improve.
Zimbabwe Cricket director Hamilton Masakadza, said on Friday that the tour by the two English county cricket sides would be a huge boost for the game in the country.
"We are thrilled to be hosting Derbyshire and Durham. The magnitude and importance of their visit cannot be over-emphasized," he said.
Masakadza said the development marks the beginning of a new chapter that will hopefully see more English county teams touring Zimbabwe.
The last visit to Zimbabwe by the England national cricket team was in 2004 for four One Day Internationals (ODIs) in Bulawayo and Harare.
Cricket relations were strained by political differences between the two sides after Zimbabwe embarked on a land reform program that aimed at addressing colonial injustices by redistributing white-owned farms to a displaced native population.
The impasse between the two sides first emerged when England forfeited its 2003 World Cup match against Zimbabwe in Harare.
In 2008 Zimbabwe was forced to withdraw from the ICC U20 World Cup in England after the British government told the International Cricket Council (ICC) they would not issue the Zimbabwe team with visas to enter.