Zimbabwe tour to Pakistan on schedule: Shahryar Khan

PCB chairman clears all the confusion lurking over the series


Sports Desk May 15, 2015
Shahryar Khan addressing a press conference at Gaddafi stadium, Lahore. PHOTO: Malik Shafiq/ Express

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan, while addressing the media in Lahore, cleared all the confusion and clarified that the Zimbabwe team will visit Pakistan and everything will held as per schedule.

Shahryar said that he had a telephonic conversation with the President of Zimbabwe Cricket Union and he confirmed their visit to Pakistan.

Shahryar said that the team will be reaching Pakistan on Tuesday and the board has got the clearance from the government.

Security arrangements finalised for the tour

The security plan has been finalized for the Zimbabwe team’s tour to Pakistan, Express News reported.

Four thousand police officials and special branch officer will be on duty throughout the matches.

30 snipers will be guarding the team throughout the match at the Gaddafi stadium.

The spectators will be allowed to use the gate adjacent to the Gulberg area and they will have to go through four check points before they can enter the stadium.

SP Mujahid will be on duty while the Zimbabwe team travels from the airport to the stadium and hotel.

Bomb disposal squad and rescue teams will camp alongside the fire brigade convoy.

Moreover, four elite forces cars will patrol the stadium during the matches.



Zimbabwe's confusion

Earlier, Zimbabwe Cricket spokesperson Lovemore Banda, while talking to the Express News on Friday. said that the tour to Pakistan hasn't been finalised as yet.

Banda added that the board cannot send the team to Pakistan without security clearance from the government.

He assured that the final decision will be taken today and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union understands the importance of the tour for the anxiously waiting PCB and the Pakistan cricket fans.

However, later in the evening Zimbabwe Cricket sent the PCB a written confirmation of the tour.

PCB confirms Zimbabwe's visit

The PCB Chief Operating Officer, Subhan Ahmed, said that the Zimbabwe tour will process as scheduled at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Express News reported.

The PCB committees were informed to continue the preparations for the tour.

Zimbabwe newspaper reveals Pakistan tour on

The Herald also revealed that tour was on course in thee morning.

On May 12, Zimbabwe had announced their 16-men squad for Pakistan tour at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

However, the events took a dramatic turn when news emerged that Zimbabwe have decided to suspend their tour on their sports regulatory body’s advice, deeming the tour unsafe. The recent surge in violence on May 13 in Karachi, which left around 45 people dead, seemed to have influenced their decision.

Read: 43 dead, eight injured in bus attack on Karachi's Ismaili community

“Pakistan authorities had provided fresh and concrete guarantees that the Zimbabwe cricket team will be safe in their country and the tour was back on the radar as originally scheduled,” the newspaper confirmed.

According to sources, Pakistan has assured that the mountains will be moved to ensure that the Zimbabwe team is safe. “Any assurances that have been received suggested that the tour is off were premature,” The Herald added.

Read: Zimbabwe announce squad for Pakistan tour

With regards to the Safora carnage, the newspaper was told that there were concerns after the incident but there was no reason to suggest that the team’s security will be compromised.

“The high level security operation that has been put in Lahore by Pakistan cannot be doubted and that’s why the team is going,” it added.

Pakistan is expected to spend about $1 million on the team’s security during the upcoming tour.

Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was busy making breakneck attempts to save Zimbabwe’s upcoming tour of Pakistan.

Read: Last-ditch efforts under way to save Zimbabwe tour

However, when almost all resigned to the fact that international cricket will remain suspended in Pakistan, another development took place just 15 minutes later when Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) said that talks are still going on and a final decision is yet to be taken.

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