Zimbabwe tour to Pakistan remains on, for now: Shaharyar Khan

Shukriya Pakistan

LAHORE: Pakistan Thursday said it had received no word from Zimbabwe about cancelling their upcoming tour despite renewed security concerns after a militant attack on a bus in Karachi killed 44 people.

Wednesday’s attack on Ismaili community, the first ever claimed by the Islamic State group inside Pakistan, had cast doubts on what would be the first visit by a Test playing nation in six years.

But Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan said that the tour remains on, for now.

“We have also heard news that there are some reservations which you or I can also have (after the incident) but on our contact with the ZC they told us that they are talking with their government,” Khan told reporters.

Zimbabwe are due to arrive on May 19 and play two Twenty20 internationals on May 22 and 24 and three one-day internationals on May 26, 29 and 31. All matches are scheduled to be played in Lahore.

No Test team has visited Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009, killing eight people and injuring six visiting cricketers.

A five-man security delegation from Zimbabwe last week toured Lahore to assess the security arrangements and have briefed their government.

The PCB has promised head-of-state- level security arrangements for Zimbabwe with 3,000 policemen guarding the visiting players at all time.

Khan said he has invited heads of other cricket boards to witness the series in a bid to inspire others to tour.

“We have invited the heads of all Test playing countries and two of them have confirmed their visit while some of them have excused (themselves).” -AFP