The Zimbabwe Cricket Team Arrived In Pakistan Without A Coach:
On Tuesday, the cricket team from Zimbabwe arrived in Islamabad to play two limited overs series against Pakistan. The visitors were received at the airport by officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Team Zimbabwe players who visit the country after five years will spend their first week in quarantine in Islamabad (Oct 21 to 27).
The team left their home country with a travelling group of 20 players on Monday morning. Zimbabwe will be without their head coach Lalchand Rajput after he pulled out over travel restrictions for the upcoming tour of Pakistan. A Zimbabwe Cricket statement said that the Indian Embassy in Harare had sought an exemption for Rajput to visit Pakistan, citing travel guidelines for its citizens released by the Government of India.
The statement stated that bowling coach Douglas Hondo will take care of the team during the tour in Rajput ‘s absence. In six international games, four ODIs and two Tests, between 1985 and 1987, Rajput, 58, represented India. In August 2018, after the team’s failure to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, he was named as Zimbabwe’s full time coach.
Zimbabwe limited-overs captain Chamu Chibhabha claims his team have the potential to defeat Pakistan in the series. Before leaving for the tour, while talking to The Herald, Chibhabha said that every ODI game was important to his team as they began their bid to qualify for the 2023 World Cup. “The guys are obviously excited about going to Pakistan, the wait is over,” said Chibhabha.
We’ve already played and defeated Pakistan before, so we believe we can actually play well, compete and beat them. And, given the Super League games, every game we play is going to be critical, given that the more games we win gives us a better opportunity to qualify for the World Cup. Zimbabwe ‘s captain added that, despite not playing international cricket for a long period due to the Covid-19 pandemic, his team is fully prepared to take on the hosts.
Zimbabwe Cricket sent a five-person delegation to Pakistan earlier this month to review the arrangements for the teams’ bio-secure bubble. This will be Pakistan’s first tour of Zimbabwe since 2015, when it became the first full member to visit the country following the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team.
In three One-day Internationals, Pakistan faces Zimbabwe-all matches being played from Oct 30 in Rawalpindi-followed by as many T20 Internationals from Nov 7 to 10 in Lahore. The Rawalpindi matches will be part of the Super League of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Cricket World Cup, from which the seven top-ranked sides will automatically qualify for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, apart from host India.
Pakistan’s selectors dropped the trio of senior players, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik and fast bowler Mohammad Amir, while the 22-member outfit comprises uncapped players Abdullah Shafiq and Usman Qadir, along with young players Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Musa Khan and Zafar Gohar. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has been named in both the ODI and T20 formats as vice-captain. Besides two uncapped and three inexperienced players, the rest of the 17 squad members are experienced as selectors have decided not to take the visiting Zimbabweans easy.
Oct 30 – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi
Nov 1 – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi
Nov 3 – 3rd ODI, Rawalpindi
Nov 7 – 1st T20I, Lahore
Nov 8 – 2nd T20I, Lahore
Nov 10 – 3rd T20I, Lahore