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Pakistan could drop Zim Tests

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB )are currently in negotiations with Zimbabwe Cricket regarding possible changes to the schedule of their men’s international tour to Southern Africa.

Pakistan are considering dropping the Test match series from the Zimbabwe-leg of their Southern African tour which will follow a pair of white-ball series against the Proteas.

After the Pakistan Super League was forced to suspend play over Covid-19 concerns, the PCB are eager to reschedule the tournament’s remaining matches. The Test series against Zimbabwe is the least lucrative engagement of their visit and it is highly likely that ZC will be amenable to changes.

The PCB are eager to conclude the PSL before the start of the IPL in Mid-April and a source within the organisation told Pakistani publication The News, that talks with ZC are ongoing.

“Though it is always difficult to readjust international tours, still efforts are on to make some adjustments enabling the PCB to organise remaining matches of the PSL before start of the Indian Premier League,” the anonymous source said.

“The white-ball cricket tour to both countries is possible as the squad is to leave on the scheduled dates to play one-day and T20 games in South Africa and then limited-overs series in Zimbabwe. The Test series could also be readjusted for some later dates provided that both the boards agree to the proposal.

“To hold the PSL’s remaining matches, you need at least two-week time. Holding 20 matches is only possible before the IPL engagements if we skip the Test series in Zimbabwe.”

Given the current climate it is highly likely that Zimbabwe will agree to the proposal, provided Pakistan pledge to play the series at a later date, possibly when fans will be allowed back into cricket grounds en-masse.

Pakistan are eager to conclude the business as it will effect the naming of their squad for the trip to South Africa with the white-ball groups likely to be very similar.

“It will be up to both the boards to agree or disagree to the proposal. Pakistan may assure the ZC that a full-fledged Test series will replace the one scheduled for next month,” the source added.

Pakistan had been set to name their team for the tour earlier this week but that has been delayed by discussions with ZC and a request to Cricket South Africa for them to bring a 30-man squad along for the trip. —

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