Pakistan cancel Zimbabwe series
In yet another blow for Zimbabwe, Pakistan has reportedly not committed to host them at the end of the year for suspected financial challenges. According to the new FTP, Zimbabwe were scheduled to play Pakistan and Bangladesh at the end of the year, but with Pakistan's refusal, they will only have a Bangladesh tour on hand.
Zimbabwe's last Test was against Pakistan at home, and the series is remembered for giant killing act of Andy Waller's men as they beat the visitors in the second Test to draw the two Test series at 1-1.
Speaking to 'Zimbabwe Independent', Waller confirmed that the series against Pakistan is off but Zimbabwe will be touring Bangladesh for three Tests and some ODIs. "We are trying our best to give the team more cricket but unfortunately some of the series have had to be rescheduled," said Waller. "Pakistan will not be able to host us in Dubai as per schedule possibly due to financial challenges. That means we will have a gap again towards the end of the year. But we will play Bangladesh and that has been moved to December when we will play three Tests."
Zimbabwe are currently in the middle of a camp as they prepare for a hectic home season with Afghanistan, South Africa and Australia all visiting their shores. Zimbabwe will host Afghanistan for four ODIs at Bulawayo which will be followed by South Africa's tour consisting of 1 Test, 3 ODIs and a triangular series, also involving Australia.
Waller said Zimbabwe will field a full strength side for the matches against Afghanistan, considering the lack of exposure in recent times. "We are looking at playing our strongest side against Afghanistan; what is important is for the team to play lots of cricket. Our goal is to make sure we play more cricket than we have been doing no matter the opposition. We want to particularly look at the combinations in the bowling department and we may look at a few younger players who have been putting their hands up," he said.
Waller acknowledged that the lack of cricket is hurting them in Tests, with the last match played as long as 11 months back. "Its a big challenge; we would have wanted to play more cricket in between the last Test and South Africa, but we are going to work hard and make the best out of the training programme. We are playing two of the best sides in the world and we will aim to compete and if we can win one or two matches in the triangular series, then that would be a good achievement," he signed off.