In 1981 Zimbabwe was elected an associate member of the ICC and two years later went to the World Cup for the first time. Their first match resulted in a breathtaking victory over Australia.
At the ICC meeting of July 1992, the vote on whether to grant Zimbabwe Test-playing status was a defining moment in Zimbabwe's cricket history. If not passed, the vote could have dire consequences for Zimbabwe's domestic cricket. With no prospect of playing Test matches, senior players like Dave Houghton would most likely give up the game while the most talented of the younger players would leave to play in South Africa or for an English county. However, the vote was passed with only England abstaining, and Zimbabwe was finally elevated to become a full ICC member with Test match status.
John Hampshire, the former Yorkshire and England Test batsman, was employed as coach at the start of the 1992-93 season to accompany the inexperienced national team on its first steps into Test cricket. In October 1992 India came to Harare to play in the first Test on Zimbabwean soil. Against all expectations, the team competed strongly throughout the match and became the first Test nation - apart from Australia - to avoid defeat in its inaugural Test match. The season ended with a short, reciprocal visit to India, Zimbabwe's first Test cricket tour abroad