Zimbabwe offer to tour Pak to raise funds for flood victims
Karachi: International cricket may soon return to Pakistan following Zimbabwe`s offer to visit the country to play fund-raisers for the millions affected by the devastating floods.
After New Zealand`s refusal to visit the trouble-torn country to help raise funds for flood victims, Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka has handed a ray of hope by indicating that his players are ready and willing to play in Pakistan before the 2011 World Cup.
Chingoka said his board would do everything possible to help restore cricketing ties in a country where no international cricket has taken place since March 2009, following the terror attack on the touring Sri Lankan side.
"The main purpose to visit Pakistan is to raise funds for the millions of flood victims. We also want to play our role in helping resume international cricket in Pakistan," Chingoka told the "Geo Super" channel last night.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) presently does not allow Zimbabwe to play Test matches but they can feature in one-day internationals and T20 matches.
Chingoka said the ZCU has spoken to its players about playing in Pakistan and is also in touch with the ICC and other boards on the prospects of touring Pakistan.
"Pakistan has always been supportive of Zimbabwe cricket and we want to do our bit in reducing the sufferings of the millions displaced in the floods in Pakistan," Chingoka stated.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board has said that it was looking into when a tour by Zimbabwe could be scheduled because of the packed calender of their national team.
Pakistan plays a full Test and ODI series against South Africa in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in October-November, soon after the end of the current tour to England in late September.
Then they travel to New Zealand for the second time in two years to play two Tests, six ODIs and three T20s. That tour ends on February 5 and the World Cup begins exactly two weeks later.
Chingoka said both boards were in touch with each other to chalk out a time frame for the proposed tour.
"Both boards are trying to hold a series soon and it may take place before the World Cup 2011," he said.