By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket has confirmed the dates of the upcoming tour of the country by Pakistan in April-May for two Test matches and three Twenty20 international (T20I) games.
Pakistan are expected to arrive in Zimbabwe on April 17 ahead of the series in which all matches will be played at Harare Sports Club, with no spectators allowed in the stadium.
The local cricket governing body also revealed that the series will be played under strict Covid-19 protocols to safeguard the safety of participating players, officials and other stakeholders.
“The series will be held in a bio-secure bubble, which simply refers to an environment that is aimed at keeping the teams relatively isolated from the outside world so as to greatly minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection,” ZC said in a statement.
“As a result, only those directly involved in the tour – players, technical staffers, match officials and those offering the necessary support services – are the only people who will be permitted access to the stadium and the hotel accommodating the teams.”
Participating players and support staff are also expected to undergo a number of Covid-19 tests during the duration of the series.
“This will see both Zimbabwe and Pakistan players and support staff undergoing several COVID-19 tests during the tour. Apart from being expected to strictly adhere to all coronavirus protocols such as sanitisation and physical distancing, all individuals within the bio-secure bubble will be monitored daily through temperature and symptom checks. Other measures put in place by Zimbabwe Cricket include the daily disinfection and cleaning of the cricket facilities – including changing rooms, toilets, offices, the media centre, walkways and car parks.”
The visit by Pakistan follows a reciprocal tour of the Asian nation by the Chevrons in November last year in what was Zimbabwe’s first international assignment since the Covid-19 pandemic halted international sport last year.
The upcoming series also ensures that the Zimbabwe side will have consistent game time this year it comes after the team’s recent tour of UAE, where they played two Test and three T20I matches against Afghanistan.
According to the schedule released by Zimbabwe Cricket on Sunday, the tour will begin with the T20I series scheduled for 21, 23 and 25 April before the two teams shift their focus to the longer version of the game.
The first Test match is pencilled in for 29 April-3 May, while the second one is set for 7-11 May.