Zimbabwe keen to tour Pakistan: PCB

Updated: Aug 21, 2010, 20:23 PM IST

Karachi: Starved of international cricket for more than a year, Pakistan has finally received good news after Zimbabwe has showed its willingness to tour the strife-torn country for a full series.

The Pakistan Cricket Board today confirmed that Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) had expressed its desire to send the national team to Pakistan for a full series to raise funds for the nation’s flood victims.

“Yes, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union has made contact with us and we are now looking at a possible time slot to host them for a series at home, but modalities need to be worked out,” a PCB official told a news agency.

He said that ZCU had left it up to PCB to decide the dates for the series.

“The good thing is they are willing to tour Pakistan but we need to take care of several things before the series is finalised,” said Nadeem Sarwar, a PCB official.

ZCU’s offer has come as a big boost for PCB after foreign teams have refused to tour Pakistan since the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team at Lahore in March last year.

The vicious attack left six Pakistani policemen and a van driver dead. Five Sri Lankan cricketers were also injured in the strike, prompting the cancellation of the tour.

Since then security scenario in Pakistan has made it a virtual no go area for foreign teams, forcing the country to play its home series on foreign soil.

To add to it, the International Cricket Council also shifted the Pakistan’s share of the 2011 World Cup matches to the other three host countries -- India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

PCB chairman Ejaz Butt welcomed ZCU’s gesture and said the board would now look to finalise the dates of the series.

“It is kind of them (ZCU) to support us in this way and it will also help us raise much needed funds for the flood victims,” Butt said.

Recently, the PCB chief also said that he was in touch with other cricketing boards, including BCCI, to form a World XI team for a series against Pakistan to raise funds for the flood victims.

Butt’s statement came after the head of ICC’s special task force on Pakistan Giles Clarke announced that they were planning to send a World XI team sometime next year to Pakistan to help in the resumption of international cricket in the country.

The widespread floods in Pakistan have killed around 1600 people and left millions homeless with the government desperate for funds and help.