By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE national cricket team players have started training with the hope of being granted getting government approval for the upcoming tour of Pakistan next month.
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) are hoping to save its coronavirus-affected international season by touring Pakistan for a bilateral limited-overs series which will be held in a bio-secure environment due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
After breaking camp in July following the cancelation of the visit by Afghanistan due to the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, local cricket was on Tuesday given the green light to start training again ahead of a possible tour of Pakistan.
If the tour goes ahead the two teams will play each other in three One Day Internationals many T20 Internationals.
Cricket is one of the sports given the green light to resume training during the Covid-19 lockdown under laid out safety guidelines.
As per the International Cricket Council guidelines, the use of saliva on cricket balls was prohibited and all players as well as ZC employees have been provided with face masks and sanitisers for training sessions.
While ZC await government approval players have started training in batches around the country.
Meanwhile, ZC has approached the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to know about the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be adopted by the hosts for the safety of the visiting Zimbabwe squad during their tour to Pakistan amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe squad is expected to reach Pakistan on October 16 with international commitments likely to start two weeks after their arrival.
Pakistan will become the second country to host international matches following the epidemic after England which is currently hosting Australia after visits by West Indies and Pakistan.
“To get approval from their government, Zimbabwe Cricket has approached us to know about the measures that will be taken for the safety of touring squad. Zimbabwe Cricket told us that it requires details of the arrangements being planned by the PCB as it is a prerequisite to get NOC for the tour,” a Pakistan Cricket Board official was quoted in the Pakistan media on Wednesday.
He added that the PCB was in process of finalising the SOPs so that it could share these with the ZC.
“Due to the presence of Covid-19 cases, special arrangements have been planned for all cricket activities including Zimbabwe tour that needs extraordinary handling,” the official said.
Following the recent tour to England, the Pakistan Cricket Board officials are in better know-how to host any touring party in a bio-secure environment.
“Pakistan has learnt a lot during their stay in England and now they have all the ability to make required arrangements for the safe hosting of the series,” the official said.
“ZC also wanted to know about the practice facilities that would be given to the visiting players during the quarantine period.” There is a possibility that all the six matches are staged in Lahore.
Zimbabwe training squad:
Brian Chari, Christopher Mpofu, Ainsley Ndlovu, Charlton Tshuma, Sean Williams, Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Sikandar Raza, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Neville Madziva, William Mashinge, Peter Joseph Moor, Brian Mudzinganyama, Ryan Murray, Brendan Taylor, Regis Chakabva, Luke Jongwe, Wessly Madhevere, Timycen Maruma, Wellington Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Tapiwa Mufudza, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Richmond Mutumbami, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Brandon Mavuta, Carl Mumba, Tendai Chisoro, Tendai Chatara, Kevin Kasuza, Donald Tiripano.