Tour ofSri Lanka 1997-98Captain: Alistair Campbell
Zimbabwe’s sixth Test tour
Second Test-playing tour ofSri Lanka by Zimbabwe
(December 1997 -
January 1998 )
The touring party arrived optimistic that the new leg-spinning find Adam Huckle, who had just taken 16 wickets in his debut Test series, and fellow leg-spinner Paul Strang could match the Sri Lankan spin bowlers who had overwhelmed them in the two Test match defeats on the previous visit in 1996.
Zimbabwe appeared to be heading for victory in Sri Lanka, only to have it snatched from their grasp. Coach Dave Houghton felt certain that they were robbed of victory by umpires who had been subjected to much press criticism for decisions they had made against the home team, and would no longer give out batsmen who declined to walk. With 200 runs still needed to win and only the tailenders to come, Zimbabwe would almost certainly have won, had appeals against de Silva and Ranatunga been given out during their record breaking partnership of 189.
All-rounder Guy Whittall was fined 50 percent of his match fee for dissent during the final day's play but otherwise the players kept their feelings in check.Although the Zimbabwe authorities made an official complaint to the International Cricket Council about the umpiring, the match and the series were by then lost
Three sets of brothers - the Flowers (Andy and Grant), Rennies (Gavin and John) and Strangs (Bryan and Paul) - represented Zimbabwe on the tour as well as cousins Andy and Guy Whittall.Bryan Strang was sent home over a matter of poor behaviour in Sri Lanka which set back his international career.