Zimbabwe’s cricket squad arrived in Pakistan yesterday – minus their Indian coach, who had been advised to stay away from the rival South Asian nation.
The 20-man Zimbabwe team is competing in a series of one-day internationals and Twenty20s, the first of which is slated for October 30 in Rawalpindi after the players complete a mandatory virus quarantine period.
Pakistan had granted Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput a visa, but he did not travel as per his government’s advice. “Zimbabwe head coach Rajput will miss the Pakistan tour after Indian embassy in Harare wrote to us asking that Rajput, who is an Indian national, be exempted from visiting Pakistan,” a Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) statement read. India and Pakistan have been bitter rivals since independence from Britain in 1947, with relations taking a fresh turn for the worse last year following New Delhi’s decision to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its partial autonomy.
In Rajput’s absence, bowling coach Douglas Hondo will supervise Zimbabwe for the tour, with allrounder Chamu Chibhabha at the helm. The schedule will see three one-day internationals in Rawalpindi on October 30, November 1 and 3, while three Twenty20 internationals are set for Lahore on November 7, 8 and 10.
Rajput played two Tests and four one-day internationals in a short career before turing to coaching.
He was appointed Zimbabwe coach in August 2018. The limited-over series will further the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, suspended after the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore in 2009.
Zimbabwe were the first team to end Pakistan’s five-year isolation by touring in 2015. South Africa is also slated to tour Pakistan in January, while England seem likely to come for the first time since 2005 for a three-match Twenty20 series, also in January.
Australia still negotiating India’s arrival for Test series
Only a few weeks before the players are due to start arriving, Cricket Australia are still negotiating with Queensland health officials over the quarantining of the India team ahead of their blockbuster Test series.
The India squad is scheduled to quarantine in Brisbane and play six short-form internationals in Queensland in late November and early December before moving on to Adelaide for the first of four Tests.
The Indian and many of the Australian players will be coming from the United Arab Emirates, where the Indian Premier League (IPL) concludes on Nov. 10, but CA have not yet had their plans agreed by Queensland’s health department. CA said they held a “productive” meeting with Queensland Health on Monday and were confident of hosting “a full schedule of matches” against India.
Du Plessis and Russell
join Colombo Kings in
Lanka Premier League
Former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell have been selected as the Colombo Kings’ overseas marquee players for next month’s inaugural Lanka Premier League.
Led by Australian Dav Whatmore, who coached Sri Lanka to World Cup glory in 1996, Colombo also picked up former Lanka captain Angelo Mathews in an online draft. The five-team Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka will take place from Nov. 21-Dec. 13 in Kandy and Hambantota. West Indies players Chris Gayle (Kandy Tuskers) and Carlos Brathwaite (Dambulla Hawks), South African David Miller (Dambulla) and Pakistanis Shahid Afridi (Galle Gladiators) and Shoaib Malik (Jaffna Stallions) are among the other top foreign players who have signed up for the tournament.
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