|Event:||Zimbabwe in Pakistan 2015|
DateLine: 28th August 2015
Recently, the Zimbabwe Cricket team visited Pakistan to play three ODIs and two T20 matches with Pakistan winning all except the last ODI which was abandoned due to rain. Thus Pakistan won the two-format cricket series.
Before the Zimbabwe finally arrived, some doubts were raised that they would not visit Pakistan after the Karachi area 'Soofoora Chungi' Bus terrorist attack incident which had resulted in the loss of 46 precious lives. The Zimbabwe Foreign Minister was reluctant to send the team. However, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC), which is the national governing body for competitive cricket in the republic of Zimbabwe finally prevailed as they had firmly committed to visit Pakistan. The Zimbabwe team players gave a written statement and ZC took all the responsibility on its shoulder that they would be responsible lest any untoward incident occurred on tour.
It is once again regretful that the ICC refused to send neutral umpires to Pakistan for the series.
Zimbabwe was the first Test-playing team to visit Pakistan after the infamous incident of 3rd March 2009, when the Sri Lankan team was attacked in Lahore by terrorists.
I would like to say that the Zimbabwe Cricket and their team showed great bravery by coming to Pakistan and playing such fine cricket and performing so well in front of sell-out crowds in Lahore.
We must also fully praise the general public for coming, filling the Gaddafi Stadium and equally cheering both teams to help send a positive message across the world. The spectators, media and all cricket lovers showed immense desire to welcome international cricket by patiently overcoming traffic jams, intense heat and tight security to watch the matches and make the tour a great success. PCB did spend lots of money on the Series but were fully compensated through gate money.
Zimbabwe left Pakistan completely satisfied and pleased with the visit.
It is appropriate to thank the members of the media who played an immense positive role during the historic and successful series with Zimbabwe. The Pakistan Cricket Board had made strict security arrangements and everyone had to walk about 2.5 kilometers to reach the stadium after passing through at least 10 Security Checkpoints. More than 4000 security officers were deployed to shield the entire Zimbabwe squad throughout its stay in Lahore.
The Zimbabwean team visit was very successful which should be helpful to revive International Cricket in Pakistan. Pakistan team has been forced to use the UAE for its home matches against the West Indies, Australia, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
It is hoped the successful and peaceful Zimbabwe tour will encourage visits by others to Pakistan and dispel the negative perceptions for safe and secure cricket. Zimbabwe Cricket MD, Alistair Campbell, who also did cricket commentary was very satisfied about the security arrangements. Last but not the least, Zimbabwean Cricket coach Dav Whatmore, former MD Zimbabwe Cricket Ozias Bvute and Wilson Manase and Punjab Sports Board all played a vital role to bring the Zimbabwean Cricket team to Pakistan.
At the end I would only say, 'Well Done Zimbabwe'.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Tahir Amin Malik)