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A
Agencies
September 16, 2020

Zimbabwe tour confirmation likely soon

Sports

A
Agencies
September 16, 2020

LAHORE: Zimbabwe team is most likely to tour Pakistan as scheduled next month, according to a top official of the former.

Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said he was “hopeful we will be cleared to travel to Pakistan” and that an official announcement would be made shortly.

The tour is set to begin from October 20, with Multan to host an international fixture for the first time in 12 years. The series will be held in a bio-secure bubble, but the PCB has yet to finalise the standard operating procedures, including the period of quarantine that Zimbabwe’s players will have to undergo, according to Cricinfo.

The PCB officials are weighing up the merits of a quarantine period which could be as short as three days or as long as a week. They are understood to be in talks with the ECB and ICC for input in this regard.

England were the first cricket board in world to host an international series in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic by creating a bio-secure bubble and went on to play West Indies, Pakistan and Australia. The PCB accrued some experience of the procedures, given the Pakistan side were in England on tour, and are forming their own protocols.

With a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases in Pakistan, the PCB in August principally decided to resume professional cricket after a 24-week hiatus. The PCB formally commenced cricketing operations last month and announced a full domestic season, opting to host the National T20 Cup ahead of the Zimbabwe tour in Rawalpindi and Multan — the two venues that are to host Zimbabwe.

It is believed that setting up a bio-secure bubble for domestic teams will form a learning curve ahead of the international fixtures.

Zimbabwe look to have been spared the worst of the pandemic so far, with fewer than 8,000 official cases and 224 deaths.

Multan, which last hosted an ODI in 2008, is scheduled to play host to a three-match ODI series, with as many T20Is to be played in Rawalpindi.

The Zimbabwe tour to Pakistan is the second such tour by the side in five years. In 2015, Zimbabwe became the first Full Member nation to visit Pakistan since the Sri Lankan cricket team terror attack in March 2009.