ZIMBABWE could send a cricket team to Pakistan this year following meetings held in the Asian country between a delegation led by Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane and the hosts.
Hlongwane, who was a guest at the recent Pakistan Super League final, has reached out to the Pakistanis as the two countries seek to strengthen cricket ties following the success of the Pakistan Super League.
Accompanied by Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani, Hlongwane had meetings with his counterpart Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Mr Shahryar Mohammad Khan.
The Ministry of Sport yesterday said in a statement, the Zimbabwe delegation had a fruitful visit to Pakistan.
“The meeting with Mr Shahryar Mohammad Khan who is Pakistan Cricket Board chairman discussed bilateral tours between Zimbabwe and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan especially in One Day International Cricket and Twenty20 cricket.
“The Minister expressed satisfaction that Pakistan has the capacity to host secure international; cricket matches commending the hard work of the Pakistan Government at continually improving the situation,” read the statement.
The Zimbabwe delegation also exchanged notes with their hosts on the proposed changes to the constitution of the International Cricket Council and pleaded for support on some of the “contentious issues” which could prejudice members like Zimbabwe.
Hlongwane said Zimbabwe would want to see equality among members in all areas.
“Both ministers and the chair of the Pakistan Cricket Board agreed to work with Zimbabwe on the issues raised which include proposals on the new membership criteria and the new proposed funding model among others.”
Hlongwane hailed the PSL as a huge success in the back of the smooth running of the fixtures and the huge attendances that graced the tournament.
He said the PSL final would surely be a stepping stone in the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, especially since the hosting of the final speaks volumes about the PCB and government’s commitment towards the return of cricket to the country.
Pakistan has been regarded as a high security area since the attack on Sri Lanka team by terrorists in 2009. But a lot of progress has been made over the years to bring normalcy.
To that extent the PCB has hosted Kenya, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh (women’s team), Afghanistan and Malaysian cricket teams in Lahore and Karachi without any incident.