Zimbabweans Tatenda Taibu and Andy Blignaut will play for South African franchises this season, the United Cricket Board (UCB) said on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe captain Taibu will play for the Cape Town-based Cobras, while all-rounder Blignaut will turn out for the Highveld Lions.
"We don't have any international cricket until we go to the West Indies in April next year and we need to play at a decent level to keep our skills up where they need to be," Blignaut told Reuters from Harare.
"That's why other countries have strong teams, because their standard of domestic cricket is high."
The chief executive of the UCB, Gerald Majola, said his Board is committed to assisting South Africa's northern neighbours "in this time of reformation for Zimbabwe cricket".
"We (the UCB and Zimbabwe Cricket) both believe that playing in our top amateur and professional competitions will assist Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC)," a UCB release quoted Majola as saying.
Majola said Blignaut and Taibu would be classified as international players with their franchise teams.
Zimbabwe are ranked ninth out of 10 teams in both Test cricket and one-day internationals.
They have lost nine of 10 Test matches and drawn the other one since many of their experienced players were fired in a dispute with the board that started in April last year.
Several players have returned to the ranks but Zimbabwe's results have remained poor.