Zimbabwe vs Pakistan: Bulawayo security concerns put ODI series in jeopardy
The first match is scheduled to be played on July 13.
Published - Jul 10, 2018 5:09 pm | Updated - Jul 10, 2018 6:00 pm
Pakistan recently won the T20I triangular series in Zimbabwe, involving the hosts and Australia. Sarfraz Ahmed and his men comprehensively brushed aside the Australians led by Aaron Finch, by seven wickets in the Final to clinch the championship. The visitors are now scheduled to play a five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe which gets underway from July 13 at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
However, the political tensions in the country have landed the series in a massive trouble. The General elections are scheduled to be held on July 30 and a bomb blast was carried out in Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rally prior to the tri-series. In a recent development, the Pakistan team has been stopped from traveling to Bulawayo due to security reasons as per reports in The Express Tribune.
The heart of the development
The luggage of the players has been shifted to the city via a bus. The players who were scheduled to travel by air, have been asked to stay back in Harare owing to non-availability of hotel rooms. Retired security officer Colonel Azam has travelled to Bulawayo to assess the condition and the team has been rescheduled to leave for Bulawayo on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan players have asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to request Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to change the venue from Bulawayo to Harare. However, the PCB has informed its cricketers that it won’t be possible as they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The cricket team will be there for the next couple of weeks with the final match of the series to be played on July 22.
The Men in Green are ranked fifth in ODIs and they would want to put forth a strong show, provided the series takes place without any undesired hassle. The hosts didn’t have an auspicious tri-series and would be keen to give their rivals a run for their money.