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Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan on as scheduled

cricket Updated: Jan 05, 2008 11:29 IST

PTI
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Zimbabwe Cricket Union has provided some respite to Pakistan Cricket Board by confirming their national team would be touring Pakistan from January 12 despite the uncertain security situation and political unrest in the country.

ZCU Managing Director Ozias Bvute said that the tour was on and the Zimbabwean players had no problems about playing in Pakistan despite the concerns raised by Australia.

Bvute also took a clear dig at the British government which is set to ban the Zimbabwe cricket team from touring England in 2009 due to its strong stand against the Robert Mugabe-led government in Zimbabwe.

"We in Zimbabwe cricket don't like to mix politics with cricket. We are not into politics and we are comfortable going to Pakistan and just playing cricket. Our job is to fulfill our commitment with the PCB and ICC," Bvute said.

He said Zimbabwe, whose Test status is suspended, could not afford to miss out on an opportunity to play against a top team like Pakistan.

Zimbabwe is due to play five one-day internationals in Pakistan after they open their tour with a four-day and a three-day game in Karachi.

The Zimbabwe tour was thrown into doubt following the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi last week.

Bvute said the Zimbabwe players had no doubts about the situation in Pakistan and the ZCU was confident that the hosts would take good care of every aspect of the tour.

"It is the responsibility of the host nation to arrange everything and we have full faith in the Pakistan board. So the tour is on and we just want to go and play cricket and give our team much needed exposure."

A PCB official said the venues for the tour were also unlikely to be changed.

"For us, this tour is important because we know the Australians will be monitoring it closely and if this tour proceeds smoothly then the Australians will be on weak ground not wanting to tour because of security or political concerns," the official said.

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