Zimbabwe-Pakistan series called off due to suspension of flights
Pakistan’s ongoing tour of Zimbabwe has been called off due to suspension of flights in the Harare-Dubai route between February 13 and 28, a joint release by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) announced on Thursday (February 11).
Pakistan won the first one-day match by 178 runs and were scheduled to play the second match of the three-match one-day series on Friday (February 11) and the series was to go on till February 20 with with three T20Is also scheduled in it. But with Emirates Airlines suspending all their flight operations between Harare and Dubai from February 13 to February 28, PCB and ZC decided to call the series off. Pakistan side will now return home from Zimbabwe on February 12.
PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said it was a difficult decision to call the series off, but they had no other option considering the suspension of flights.
“It has been a difficult decision considering Zimbabwe Cricket had put in place excellent arrangements for the series. But the decision by the Emirates Airlines to suspend all flights to and from Harare from 13 February to 28 February has meant that we have to bring the squad back in the next 24 hours,” Khan said.
“We thank Zimbabwe Cricket for their understanding and support, and hope to return at some stage to complete this additional tour.”
Givemore Makoni, ZC managing director, said the decision to call off the series was understandable in light of the situation and said he is hopeful of hosting Pakistan side again in the near future.
“It is unfortunate that the Pakistan Women’s team have had to cut short their stay in Zimbabwe as a precautionary move after some unforeseen air travel complications arose, but their concern is understandable,” Makoni said.
“Nonetheless, we would like to thank the PCB for having in the first place committed to the historic tour which we have no doubt would have been memorable and a massive boost for our women’s game had it not been discontinued.”
Zimbabwe last played competitive cricket in 2019 before the first one-dayer and both teams were hoping to use the series as preparation for the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021 that is scheduled to played in July in Sri Lanka.