Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to tour Zimbabwe for three One-day Internationals and two T20Is, but would play the ODI series only after September 30 deadline, set by the ICC for the top eight teams in the ICC ODI rankings to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Pakistan, last week reached a mutual understanding with the Zimbabwe Cricket Union to cancel a proposed ODI tri-series in Zimbabwe, also featuring the West Indies, scheduled to be held sometime in late August and early September.
Interestingly, the decision to cancel the tri-series came after Pakistan won the ODI series in Sri Lanka and climbed up to eighth position in the ICC rankings, just above the West Indies, who are now placed ninth in the table.
"We had made a commitment to the Zimbabwe board to play a return series with them and we will do that. But only from the last week of September," a source in the PCB told PTI.
The West Indies until now have no international matches scheduled before the September 30th deadline.
Asked what would happen if West Indies managed to squeeze in a short ODI series before the September 30th deadline, the board official said this was an internal matter of the two boards and Pakistan could not comment on it.
"We are just doing everything which is in our hands to safeguard our cricket," he insisted.
The official informed that details of the Zimbabwe tour were being worked out and Pakistan could not tour earlier in September because of its domestic commitments, which includes the National T20 Championship from September 1 to 15, in which all top players are suppose to feature as a requirement of the sponsors.
"We owe Zimbabwe a return tour for their gesture to visit Pakistan and play two T20 matches and three ODIs. We will play exactly the same number of matches against them from last week of September," the source said.