International cricket giants India have offered the best sign yet they are committed to fulfilling their obligation to tour Zimbabwe for a five-match One-Day International series next month.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the troubled series, Zimbabwe has been going about its preparations with intensity, but the lack of certainty is beginning to bother the home camp as they need to play competitively before they engage Pakistan for a tour that comprises all three formats starting in August.
India, who have been communicating with their Zimbabwean counterparts assuring them the tour would go ahead without making written commitment, last week wrote to Zimbabwe Cricket proposing a slight shift in dates.
Zimbabwe had proposed dates around the 10th of next month but India want to arrive in the country on July 20 and get straight into serious business.
Pakistan have confirmed they will arrive on August 19.
Despite that communication, a dark cloud still hovers over the tour until a Memorandum of Understanding is signed.
Zimbabwe is hoping that the tour proceeds for obvious financial reasons but on the playing side it is important for new coach Andy Waller who wants to test his methods against the giants before Pakistan.
Captain Brendan Taylor this week told IndependentSport they were practicing as if everything was on course and the uncertainty had not hampered the mood in the camp much.
“We have been working hard in the last two weeks on fitness and conditioning; we are just going about our business with the mindset that we will play India,” said Taylor.
A squad of 27 players was called into camp and only Chamu Chibhabha and Tino Mawoyo are missing.
Mawoyo recently underwent an operation on a troublesome groin. Taylor said the players were excited working under the new coach who is demanding a lot from his charges.
“Bundu (Waller) is a hard man, he demands a lot from the players, he sets high standards for everyone and we are all working hard. It has been hard so far the fitness programme has been quite a rigorous one, but we know that if we are to play and beat the big sides we have to put in a lot of extra work and effort,” he said.