THE Pakistan Cricket Board has confirmed the Pakistan National Cricket Academyâ€™s tour of Zimbabwe next month when it announced the tour itinerary this week.
The academy side will arrive in the country on August 20 to play two four-day matches and three one-day matches in Bulawayo and Harare before proceeding to Kenya where they will also play a select side.
Zimbabwe Cricket say they will use fringe players for the matches but given that the board is battling for game time it would have made sense to use their first team as the academy will not be far off from the Zimbabwe team in terms of strength.
Players hoping to make the side began trial matches at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
The academy visit is the only confirmed assignment for Zimbabweâ€™s competition-starved players this year.
The Zimbabweans would have played in South Africaâ€™s domestic competitions but Cricket South Africa cut bilateral ties with Zimbabwe in response to the political situation in the country.
The PCB said it has always supported Zimbabwe Cricket and hoped the NCA teamâ€™s visit will help Zimbabwe to strengthen their chances of returning to the international fold.
Zimbabwe havenâ€™t hosted an international match since December last year when West Indies visited for a five-match ODI series right after South Africa played three ODIs.
Zimbabwe had toured Pakistan earlier this year losing 5-0 in an ODI series. â€“â€“ Staff Writer/ Cricinfo