International cricket to return after 6 years as Zimbabwe confirm decision to tour Pakistan
In a landmark day for cricket in Pakistan, Zimbabwe have confirmed that they will be touring Pakistan next month for a limited-overs series, ending the country’s 6-year long hiatus from hosting international cricket. Since the ghastly terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, no Full Member nation has toured Pakistan due to obvious security concerns.
Via Zimbabwe Cricket’s (ZC’s) Twitter account, Wilson Manase, the chairman of the board, said: "I can confirm that Zimbabwe will tour Pakistan in May.
"We have taken cognisance of all the factors for us to arrive at this decision, so let's not be alarmist about the situation in Pakistan."
“We are touring Pakistan as a measure of establishing bilateral relations between us and them. They will also come to Zimbabwe in August," ZC managing director Alistair Campbell added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) subsequently added that the Zimbabweans will be arriving in Lahore on May 19 and play two Twenty20 (T20) internationals and three One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
While Kenya toured Pakistan a few months ago for a series against Pakistan A, this upcoming series will hold huge significance as it will illustrate whether the country is adequately prepared to host international cricket again and perhaps give confidence to other teams to tour in the future provided nothing untoward happens.
Over the last few years, Pakistan have had to play their ‘home’ matches at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and while they have had reasonable success doing so, they haven’t had the kind of support that they would get back home in Pakistan.