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International cricket returns to Pakistan after 6 years, Zimbabwe to tour

Pakistan and Zimbabwe Cricket Boards have confirmed that the African nation will tour Lahore from May 19 to play five limited-over matches in the first tour to Pakistan by a Test playing nation since 2009

Lahore: Pakistan is all set to host international cricket after a gap of six years when Zimbabwe visit the Asian country to play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20 Internationals in May.

Zimbabwe thus will become the first International Cricket Council (ICC) full-member nation to visit Pakistan after the 2009 terrorist attack on a Sri Lankan team bus here. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard.

"This would be an auspicious moment for Pakistan cricket and I am positive that it would open doors of international cricket in Pakistan," PCB chairman Shaharyar Mohammad Khan stated.

"Kenya have already been here for five matches against Pakistan A and I am indeed confident that Zimbabwe's incident-free tour shall be the harbinger of more and more associate and full member nations visiting us in the months and years to come."

ZC's security team will visit Lahore on May 4 to review just the arrangements put in place by the PCB with the full backing and support of the Punjab government and various provincial and federal law enforcement agencies.

"We vigorously tried to convince Zimbabwe Cricket to split the matches between Lahore and Karachi but the visiting team's members expressed concern on extensive travelling, and their request had to be accommodated," added the PCB chairman.

ZC chairman Wilson Manase was also happy to confirm the news.

"I can confirm that Zimbabwe will be touring Pakistan in May. I am not in any doubt that the PCB will be looking after us well. That has been assured. I have been in touch with PCB President Mr. Khan, whom I have the greatest respect for," Manase said.

All matches will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The T20Is will be played on May 22 and 24 while the three ODIs will take place on May 26, 29 and 31.

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