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Zimbabwe hold first practice session in Pakistan

Zimbabwe players Craig Ervine and Chamu Chibhabha walking off the field with a smile during practice at the Army Cricket Ground in Islamabad, Pakistan (Picture - Zimbabwe Cricket)

Zimbabwe trained for the first time in Pakistan on Wednesday, ahead of their eagerly awaited limited-overs series against the hosts.

Stand-in head coach Douglas Hondo took the players through their paces during the practice session held at the Army Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi.

The tourists all stepped out for training in a buoyant mood after Zimbabwe’s entire squad of 32, including support staffers, returned negative results from the COVID-19 tests they were subjected to on their arrival in Pakistan on Tuesday.

Although they have access to training facilities, they will remain quarantined in Rawalpindi until next Tuesday.

The first of the three one-day international (ODI) matches between Pakistan and Zimbabwe will be played on 30 October, with the other two pencilled in for 1 and 3 November.

The three ODIs, which are part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, will all be played in Rawalpindi.

Lahore will host the three-match Twenty20 international series between the two sides that will immediately follow on 7, 8 and 10 November.

Speaking to journalists during a virtual press conference held after the first practice session in Rawalpindi, Zimbabwe senior player Elton Chigumbura said they were in Pakistan not just to compete but to win.

“It’s important for us to get the points that we need to qualify for the next World Cup,” he said.

“Everyone in the team is very ready and eager to get going and hopefully we will start on a positive note.

“We came here to win . . . Every game is important for us, every player here is aware of that and you are going to see us trying to win games.”

Zimbabwe Squad for Pakistan Tour:

Chamu Chibhabha (captain), Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams 

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende