By Asghar Ali Mubarak
Rawalpindi: The PCB has decided to hand the hosting rights of the Zimbabwe ODIs to Rawalpindi, and of the T20Is to Lahore. Only two days ago the PCB had replaced Multan with Lahore as one of the venues of the tour, before announcing the final schedule on Sunday.
The dates of the matches remain the same with the ODIs scheduled for October 30, November 1 and 3, followed by the T20Is on November 7, 8 and 10.”After Multan became unavailable due to logistical and operational reasons, we took the opportunity to revisit the entire schedule and have come up with an itinerary that is suitable for the teams, match officials, broadcasters, event staff and other support agencies,” Zakir Khan, director, international cricket, PCB said in a statement. “In the meantime, we are also in regular touch with the Metrological department and seeking their forecast for smog during November.”Lahore faces a high likelihood of seasonal smog in November and December.
The PCB usually avoids hosting matches there in November-December and prefers the southern part of the country to avoid any inconvenience. Multan, situated in southern Punjab, was for part of the original plan for the same reason but with the last-minute pullout, the PCB was forced to replace Multan with Lahore. Despite the change, the PCB is optimistic that the T20Is can be managed in Lahore.”We will continue to liaise with the Met Office and monitor the situation, and, if required, will make necessary changes.
The availability of Rawalpindi has ensured there is no uncertainty for our ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League matches as we aim to collect maximum points from this series to achieve our target of qualifying directly for the ICC’s pinnacle 50-over event.”
Zimbabwe’s tour will begin when their 32-man squad arrives in Islamabad on October 20. They will then undergo an isolation period from October 21 to 27 before they can start training at the Pindi Cricket Stadium from October 28.Mean while Chamu Chibhabha will captain the Zimbabwe side that will tour Pakistan later this month.