Karachi: Zimbabwe are close to accepting an invitation to play in Pakistan next month in a one-day series that could mark the first visit by a Test-playing nation since 2009. As Pakistan Cricket Board has agreed to spend around USD 5 lakh on hosting the Zimbabwe cricket team for a limited over series.
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Tuesday that the PCB had accepted some of the requests of the Zimbabwe cricket union to make the tour possible, which would be the first by a Test nation to Pakistan since 2009.
“The expenditure on hosting the Zimbabwean team is around USD 500,000 but we expect to bring this figure down,” he said.
Zimbabwe were keen to undertake the tour but still need to settle financial guarantees and a memoranda of agreement has yet to be signed, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) communication manager Lovemore Banda told Reuters from Harare on Monday. “We are still talking but hope that it can be finalised anytime from now. We need to agree matters with Pakistan and also have to get our own players to agree as well,” he said.
Zimbabwean media reported that players were seeking as much as $10,000 per man to tour to Pakistan where security concerns have stopped international teams from touring since March 2009 when Sri Lankan cricketers and officials were attacked by gunmen in Lahore.
Foreign teams have shunned Pakistan since the attack, in which six Pakistani policemen were killed, meaning they have had to play their “home” matches at neutral venues, mostly in the United Arab Emirates. One condition of the possible Zimbabwe tour is a reciprocal visit by Pakistan’s team to the southern African country in August, which would add to the significant financial boost they should get from visits by India and New Zealand in July. Zimbabwean cricket has battled with severe financial problem in recent years.