By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Mar 28 (APP): Pakistan will become the first men’s international cricket side to play in Zimbabwe in the post-Covid-19 era when they announced the schedule of their two Test and three T20I series.
The Pakistan side will arrive in Harare from Johannesburg on 17 April, where the five matches will take place from 21 April to 11 May with the T20Is to start at 1400 PST and the two Tests will commence at 1230 Pakistan Standard Time.
After the T20Is on 21, 23 and 25 April, Babar Azam’s side will play Zimbabwe in two Tests, the first of which will begin on 29 April. This will mark the first instance of the two sides facing off in the pinnacle format of the game since September 2013. This was also Pakistan’s last Test on Zimbabwean soil.
The second Test will commence on 7 May.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan men’s cricket sides have toured England and New Zealand, besides hosting Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Pakistan Shaheens also toured New Zealand alongside the men’s side, while the women’s sides visited South Africa and Zimbabwe, the tour that was curtailed due to suspension in flight operations. Next month, Pakistan U19 squad will tour Bangladesh for a four-day and
five 50-over-side matches.
This underscores the Pakistan Cricket Board’s commitment to play an active role in ensuring that international cricket remains on track in these challenging and uncertain times.
Director – International Cricket, Zakir Khan said here on Sunday : “The Pakistan Cricket Board has been at the forefront of the revival of international cricket in the post-Covid-19 world and the tour of Zimbabwe is another step in that direction.
We have always maintained that cricket and Covid-19 can co-exist in a safe and secure environment, and we continue to demonstrate this to ensure the game develops and flourishes in these difficult and challenging times.
“The tour of our men’s side at the back of our women’s team first-ever visit of Zimbabwe is a testimony that the two boards – the PCB and Zimbabwe Cricket – enjoy excellent relations and are always ready to lend support
to each other.
“Our cricket sides have always enjoyed visiting and playing cricket in Zimbabwe, and though our fans and followers will be unable to watch live-action, I am sure they will continue to support both the sides and their favourite cricketers like they have done since May 2020 through digital media.”
Pakistan enjoy 100 per cent win percentage against Zimbabwe in T20Is with victories in all 14 matches.
Pakistan have won 10 of the 17 Tests against Zimbabwe with four ending in draw and three in wins for Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe last hosted an international series – a two-Test series against Sri Lanka – in January 2020.
The T20Is and Tests will count towards the ICC Team Rankings.
Pakistan men’s national cricket team for the Zimbabwe tour:
T20I: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Shadab Khan (vice-captain) (Northern), Arshad Iqbal (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Asif Ali (Northern), Danish Aziz (Sindh), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Haider Ali (Northern), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Mohammad Hafeez (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Wasim Jnr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sharjeel Khan (Sindh) and Usman Qadir (Central Punjab)
Test: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Abid Ali (Central Punjab), Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Imran Butt (Balochistan), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Nauman Ali (Northern), Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Saud Shakeel (Sindh, subject to fitness), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh), Tabish Khan (Sindh) and Zahid Mahmood (Southern Punjab)
Players Support Personnel – Mansoor Rana (Manager), Misbah-ul-Haq (head coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Col (retd) Khalid Mahmood (security manager), Malang Ali (masseur), Raza Kitchlew (Digital and media manager), Dr Riaz Ahmed (team doctor), Shahid Aslam (assistant to head coach), Usman Hashmi (analyst), Waqar Younis (bowling coach), Yasir Malik (strength & conditioning coach)
and Younis Khan (batting coach).
Zimbabwe tour schedule (T20Is start at 1400 PST, Tests to begin at 1230 PST):
21 April – 1st T20I v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare
23 April – 2nd T20I v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare
25 April – 3rd T20I v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare
29 April-3May – 1st Test v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare
7-11 May – 2nd Test v Zimbabwe; Harare Sports Club, Harare.