Zimbabwe News

Pakistan’s matches in Zimbabwe will take place behind closed doors in Harare

Pakistan will play three T20Is and two Tests in Zimbabwe immediately after their white-ball tour of South Africa, and it has now been confirmed that all the fixtures will take place in a bio-secure bubble in Harare behind closed doors.

The series starts with the T20Is, which will be played on April 21, 23, and 25, and will start at 11am local time. The Test matches will follow from April 29 to May 3 and May 7 to 11.

Pakistan will travel to Zimbabwe with the same 35-man squad they have taken to South Africa. They touched down on Saturday and began training on Sunday after clearing their Covid-19 tests.

This is the second time Zimbabwe and Pakistan are meeting since the Covid-19 pandemic was declared last March. Zimbabwe made a trip to Pakistan to play three ODIs and three T20Is in October-November last year. Pakistan won the ODI series 2-0 and the T20I series 3-0. The teams have not played Test cricket against each other since Pakistan visited Zimbabwe in September 2013.

“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,” Zakir Khan, PCB director of international cricket, said in a statement. “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.”

The Pakistan women’s side had to leave Zimbabwe early from their tour in February after Emirates Airlines halted service in parts of Southern Africa.

Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 situation has been in relatively good control, with the country recording fewer than 37,000 positive cases and just over 1500 deaths. They are in phase two of a vaccination programme and lockdown restrictions, including a curfew, were eased earlier this month.

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