By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE national cricket team bowling coach Douglas Hondo will lead the side during their six-match limited-overs tour of Pakistan after head coach Lalchand Rajput opted not to travel with the squad.
Rajput, who represented India six times during his playing career, had received clearance from Pakistan’s foreign office and was part of the team’s prior training camp in the build-up to the upcoming limited-overs series.
However, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) said in a statement they had been contacted by the Embassy of India in Harare, requesting that Rajput be exempted from the tour “in accordance with the travel guidelines stipulated by the Government of India for its citizens”.
“Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput will miss the Pakistan tour after his side arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday without him. The Embassy of India in Harare wrote to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) asking that Rajput, who is an Indian national, be exempted from visiting Pakistan for the limited-overs tour in accordance with the travel guidelines stipulated by the Government of India for its citizens,” ZC said.
ZC also confirmed that Rajput had received a visa from the Embassy of Pakistan, refuting various reports that suggested he had been denied before confirming that former Chevrons seamer Hondo would take charge of the head coaching duties in his absence.
“The Embassy of Pakistan in Harare had issued a visa to Rajput. With Rajput unavailable for the tour, ZC has appointed Zimbabwe bowling coach Douglas Hondo to take charge of the team for the three one-day international matches and as many Twenty20 international games against Pakistan.”
Zimbabwe will play three ODIs in Rawalpindi, starting on Oct. 30, before travelling to Lahore for the three Twenty20 internationals.
Relations between India and Pakistan have worsened since last year, severing most cultural and trade ties between the South Asian neighbours.