Zimbabwe cricket squad arrives in Pakistan without Indian coach - GulfToday

Zimbabwe cricket squad arrives in Pakistan without Indian coach

Chamunorwa Chibhabha

Zimbabwean cricket captain Chamunorwa Chibhabha (2nd right) at the departure lounge of the Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare on Monday. Agence France-Presse

Karachi: Zimbabwe’s cricket squad arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday — minus their Indian coach, who had been advised to stay away from the rival South Asian nation.

The 20-man Zimbabwe team is competing in a series of one-day internationals and Twenty20s, the first of which is slated for Oct.30 in Rawalpindi after the players complete a mandatory virus quarantine period.

Pakistan had granted Zimbabwe coach Lalchand Rajput a visa, but he did not travel as per his government’s advice.

“Zimbabwe head coach Rajput will miss the Pakistan tour after Indian embassy in Harare wrote to us asking that Rajput, who is an Indian national, be exempted from visiting Pakistan,” a Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) statement read.

India and Pakistan have been bitter rivals since independence from Britain in 1947, with relations taking a fresh turn for the worse last year following New Delhi’s decision to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its partial autonomy.

In Rajput’s absence, bowling coach Douglas Hondo will supervise Zimbabwe for the tour, with allrounder Chamu Chibhabha at the helm.

The schedule will see three one-day internationals in Rawalpindi on Oct.30, Nov.1 and 3, while three Twenty20 internationals are set for Lahore on Nov.7, 8 and 10. Rajput played two Tests and four one-day internationals in a short career before turning to coaching. He was appointed Zimbabwe coach in August 2018.

The limited-over series will further the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, suspended after the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore in 2009.

Zimbabwe were the first team to end Pakistan’s five-year isolation by touring in 2015.

South Africa is also slated to tour Pakistan in January, while England seem likely to come for the first time since 2005 for a three-match Twenty20 series, also in January.

GAYLE, AFRIDI FOR LPL: Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis, Shahid Afridi and Carlos Brathwaite were among 23 star imports named Tuesday for the twice-postponed Lanka Premier League which will finally begin next month.

Each of the five LPL teams is allowed up to six imported players and they have until Nov.1 to fill any remaining slots.

The 23-match Twenty20 Sri Lanka tournament was originally scheduled for August but was moved to Nov. 14 and then Nov.21 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Agence France-Presse

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