Zimbabwe Cricket hopes to salvage Pakistan tour

12 Aug, 2020 - 00:08 0 Views
Zimbabwe Cricket hopes to salvage Pakistan tour Darlington Majonga

The Chronicle

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket (ZC) still hopes to salvage the Chevrons’ tour of Pakistan following cancellation of the proposed incoming tour by Afghanistan due to additional measures put in place by the Government to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Government, through the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), notified ZC of its decision not to sanction the tour by Afghanistan which had been scheduled for last month.

ZC had been hopeful that the series would go ahead since Government had given low risk sports permission to return to action and cricket was among sports that had been given the green light to resume training during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The tour by Afghanistan would have seen them playing five Twenty20 Internationals.

It hasn’t been a good year for ZC, which had a bright start, with a home Test series against Sri Lanka followed by a tour of Bangladesh.

The planned home series against Ireland featuring one Test and five T20Is in March-April was also postponed due to Covid-19, and so were three ODIs against Australia, India and Netherlands.

The fixtures would have given Zimbabwe a busy schedule after they failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup and are not part of the World Test Championship.

Darlington Majonga, ZC communications manager, said they are hoping to save their international season with a tour to Pakistan, subject to Government’s approval.

“As you are aware, ZC had applied for a waiver to proceed with the series in a strictly controlled environment, but with Zimbabwe experiencing a rise in the number of coronavirus cases, the Government advised that the country was not yet ready to host visiting teams. However, all hope is not lost as ZC will seek clearance from Government for the team to travel to Pakistan in October. Pakistan has been having tours and conversations for a tour are in progress, but that will all be determined by Government’s approval,” said Majonga.

With inter-city travel also regulated, it means ZC has to put on hold plans for the clubs’ National League as well as domestic action for women.

National team players had returned to training in small groups in their respective cities in anticipation of the tour by Afghanistan, but have since stopped following a spike in Covid-19 cases.

They were given a training programme to follow at home and are monitored remotely via digital platforms by the technical team.

“There’s a programme players were given to follow by the fitness trainer and their progress will continue to be monitored. At the moment, it’s premature to talk about the Pakistan tour, but when the time is right, everything related to the tour and players’ training will be made available,” Majonga said.

Regarding the domestic season, Majonga said: “Our season normally starts in October, so we remain hopeful that by then we will be able to play our games in controlled environments as we were doing with the training programmes.” – @ZililoR

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