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Pakistan agree to limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe

KARACHI: Pakistan on Wednesday agreed to play a limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe comprising two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals starting in September, after plans for a tri-series involving the West Indies were scrapped.

The planned tour comes after Pakistan hosted Zimbabwe in May and June, the first visit to the militancy-hit South Asian country by a Test-playing team in six years.

The Africans’ tour was hailed as a breakthrough moment for the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, which was suspended after militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said: “Pakistan will play two Twenty20 internationals in Zimbabwe in September before playing three one-day internationals in October.”

Zimbabwe Cricket had proposed to play a tri-series involving the West Indies instead of a bilateral series.

But it is widely believed the PCB wanted to avoid playing the West Indies to ensure they remained in the world’s top eight teams before the September 30 cut-off for qualification for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England.

Pakistan had moved to eighth place from ninth after beating Sri Lanka 3-2 in a series that ended last week, but risked dropping back down to eighth had they lost to either team. -AFP

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