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THE Zimbabwe cricket team yesterday confirmed the team that is expected to leave for Pakistan on Sunday for the short tour of Pakistan. The team is set to play two Twenty20 matches and a three-match ODI series as part of their Future Tours Programme.

The team has been preparing for the tour for the last three weeks under coach Dav Whatmore who recently extended his stay by four years.

All the matches will be at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore with the T20s opening the doors on May 22 and May 24.

Zimbabwe will become the first nation in six years to tour the country since the Sri Lanka team was attacked by terrorists during a tour in 2009.

A security delegation, led by Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Alistair Campbell, last week confirmed the security situation in the Asian nation has changed in a big way since then.

Whatmore will carry an unchanged technical team, with Andy Waller being the batting coach while Douglas Hondo is the bowling coach.

Zimbabwe have also welcomed back into the fold big hitter Charles Coventry, Chris Mpofu, Vusi Sibanda, Richmond Mutumbami and Brian Vitori.

Returning leg spinner Graeme Cremer made a late entry and joins Sean Williams and part-timer Sikandar Raza Butt in the spin department. Mountaineers batsman Roy Kaia, who was the top scorer in the pro50 competition last season with 382 runs at 76.40, has also been included and is set to make his debut for Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Cricket Communications manager, Lovemore Banda, yesterday said the team will leave on Sunday via Dubai and return on June 1.

“These guys haven’t played enough cricket, so such opportunities are welcome especially against a full member like Pakistan,” said Banda.

Zimbabwe Squad

Elton Chigumbura (Captain) ,Sikandar Raza Butt ,Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Charles Coventry ,Graeme Cremer ,Craig Ervine ,Roy Kaia ,Hamilton Masakadza, Christopher Mpofu, Tawanda Mupariwa, Richmond Mutumbami ,Tinashe Panyangara, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori , Sean Williams

Technical Staff: Dav Whatmore – Head Coach , Dougie Hondo – Bowling Coach, Andy Waller – Batting Coach, Stanley Chioza – Team Analyst , Sean Bell – Fitness Trainer , Anesu Mupotaringa – Physiotherapist, Christian Chiketa – Team Manager

Tour Itinerary, all matches at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore

Sunday 17 May: Zimbabwe leave Harare for Dubai en route to Lahore, Pakistan

Friday 22 May: First Twenty20 International (T20I) match

Sunday 24 May: Second T20I

Tuesday 26 May: First One-Day International (ODI) match

Friday 29 May: Second ODI

Sunday 31 May: Third ODI

Monday 01 June: Zimbabwe depart Lahore for Harare.

Source : The Herald