Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan: PCB considering all matches at one venue

Pakistan Cricket Board is reportedly considering to host the two limited overs international series against Zimbabwe only at one venue. The choice is between Lahore and Rawalpindi.

With Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan, international cricket will return to the sub-continent for the first time ever since the break out of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

Pakistan, presently on the tour of England, is scheduled to play three One Day Internationals and as many T20 Internationals in November.

A PCB source has confirmed to India’s national news agency PTI that two venues – Lahore and Rawalpindi – are under consideration to host the Zimbabwe series and they are Lahore and Rawalpindi.

“Chances are that the board will host the entire white ball series against the visiting team in Lahore as this would allow it to create a proper bio-secure bubble,” the source said.

The visitors will have to serve a two-week mandatory quarantine on their arrival in Lahore on October 10. They will have to take three COVID-19 tests before hitting the ground for the two white-ball series.

The PCB will reportedly follow the protocol adopted by the England and Wales Cricket Board, which ensured the return of international cricket with the home series against the West Indies. Currently, Pakistan are preparing for the limited overs series against England after the three-match Test series was settled 1-0 in the hosts favour. Australia have also reached England to keep the cricket going in England after Pakistan return home.

PCB had, reveal the source, taken a lot of information from the England and Wales Cricket Board on how to create and sustain the bio-secure bubble as it strives to also start its domestic cricket season from mid-September.

England hosted the West Indies and Pakistan teams for a series this summer and played all the matches at just two venues, Manchester and Southampton, which have on-site accommodation.

“The PCB is also looking at just one venue to host the entire series against Zimbabwe. The PCB has also decided to host all the division one and two matches of the prestigious Quaid-e-Azam Trophy tournament in Karachi where it has the facility of at least five first-class grounds to host the matches.

“The bio-secure bubble is also going to be created for the domestic season and there will be severe penalties including bans and fines for any player (s) or official (s) breaching the bio-secure bubble environment,” the source added.

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