Zimbabwe set to become first team to tour Pakistan after March 2009

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that Zimbabwe will be the first Test team to tour Pakistan since 2009, but remained unclear about the venues for the limited over series.

"Zimbabwe is going to tour Pakistan for a week from mid-May," PCB Chairman, Shaharyar Khan told the media in Lahore. The schedule of the ODI series is yet to be confirmed. It could be either a five or three ODI series and two Twenty20 matches.

But sources in the board told PTI that while the PCB was planning matches at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore and one or two games at a different venue, they had not been able to finalise the venues as yet due to security issues.

Khan did confirm that the PCB was in touch with authorities to have some matches at a venue in Karachi but sources said it could be the Arabian Country Club on the outskirts of Karachi or the Southend club in Defence Housing Authority.

The plan to use these venues is because the PCB does not want any travelling for the visiting team and both venues have accommodation and other facilities close to the ground.

Khan said a security delegation from Zimbabwe will visit Pakistan this week to review the arrangements after which the final itinerary would be announced.

A source said Zimbabwe cricket union was more interested in playing all the matches in Lahore. No Test team has toured Pakistan since March, 2009 when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. Khan said that the PCB had got special permission from
the International Cricket Council to appoint Pakistani referees and umpires for the series and the matches would be given international status.

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