LAHORE: Pakistan will launch its ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League campaign by hosting Zimbabwe for a three-match ODI series in October-November, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced on Wednesday.
The 50-over matches against Zimbabwe will be played in Multan on October 30, November 01 and 03, which will be followed by three T20Is in Rawalpindi on November 7, 8 and 10. The ICC has introduced the Super League to provide context to ODI cricket and will serve as a qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 with the top seven sides automatically booking their spots for the India event. Featuring 13 teams, the 12 Test playing countries and the Netherlands, the Super League will see each side play four home and four away three-match series.
PCB Director – International Cricket, Zakir Khan said: “The confirmation of the series schedule against Zimbabwe after having successfully hosted Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.” He said hosting Marylebone Cricket Club and HBL Pakistan Super League V, in the 2019-20 season not only strengthens Pakistan’s reputation as a safe and secure country but also a healthy one after having successfully overcome the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This series is critical to Pakistan as it aspires to qualify directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 and, as such, every point in the Super League will count. Our last ODI series was against Sri Lanka, 12 months ago, so the boys will have to hit the ground running and try to pocket maximum points.
“We have strategically scheduled Zimbabwe’s matches in Multan and Rawalpindi, the venues which will be hosting the National T20 Cup from September 30 to October 18. By the time Zimbabwe arrives, we would have gained enough experience on bio-securing hotels, player transportation, the venues and the players’ dressing rooms as delivery of this series will be under strict Covid-19 protocols to ensure the health and safety of all participants.”
Zimbabwe will carry a 32-member squad to cater for both the formats as well as for the intra-squad warm-up matches. The squad will undergo two Covid-19 tests within a space of 48 hours prior to their departure in Harare, while the second tests will be conducted as soon as they arrive in Islamabad.
Players and Player Support Personnel testing negative in Islamabad will be eligible to resume training at a venue, which the PCB will confirm in due course. Players and player support personnel testing positive during the tour will have to observe a five-day self-isolation and will only be allowed to re-integrate with the side after two negative tests.
The series will be played behind closed doors.
Series schedule (match timing and training schedule to be share in due course):
Oct 20 – Zimbabwe arrival in Islamabad
30 Oct 30 – 1st ODI, Multan
Nov 01 – 2nd ODI, Multan
Nov 03 – 3rd ODI, Multan
Nov 04 – Travel to Islamabad
Nov 07 – 1st T20I, Rawalpindi
Nov 8 – 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi
Nov 10– 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi
Nov 11 – Zimbabwe departure for Harare