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Raza Relishing Pakistan Tour Challenge

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By Sports Reporter


ZIMBABWE all-rounder, Sikandar Raza is relishing the prospect of making a return to international cricket when the national cricket team tours Pakistan for a scheduled limited-overs tour next month.

Raza, who is part of Zimbabwe’s 25-man squad which went into camp in Harare on Monday in preparation for the upcoming tour, is excited at the opportunity of taking on Pakistan in their own backyard.

It will also be an emotional homecoming for Raza who was born in Pakistan before moving to Zimbabwe as a child.

“The mood in the camp is fantastic and everyone feels great to be out training and being part of the national team training camp. The last time we toured Pakistan we took them to the wire and the last game which was rained off we were on the track of winning it so good performances from me and the team is what I am praying and hoping for,” he said.

Raza is on cloud nine after winning the Caribbean Premier League in his debut season with the Trinbago Knight Riders early this month.

The 34-year-old was part of the cast when Trinbago Knight Riders reclaimed the trophy in scintillating fashion following an eight-wicket victory over the Andy Flower-coached St Lucia Zouks at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad.

It was the fourth title for the Knight Riders, which saw them extend their record as the most successful team in the history of the CPL since the tournament started in 2013.

“It feels amazing to win the trophy with TKR (Trinbago Knight Riders). It was such a privilege to be part of that family,” Raza said of the memorable triumph.

Although Raza is excited with the opportunity to tour Pakistan uncertainty still surrounds the proposed limited-overs tour as ZC are still waiting for clearance from the Sports Ministry.

The association applied for permission to travel last month but there have been indications that they will be granted the go-ahead after announcing a 25-member training squad on Sunday.

The ODI series in Pakistan, which will be part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, is pencilled for October 30, November 1, and 3.

The T20I matches are scheduled for November 7, 8, and 10.

Zimbabwe is provisionally expected to go into a seven-day quarantine upon arrival in Pakistan due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the tour will be played in a bio-secure bubble.