SRC stance on Pakistan tour welcome

HARARE - The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) stance of warning the Zimbabwe cricket team against travelling to Pakistan is a welcome move.

But Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is adamant that the tour will go ahead despite the escalating terrorist attacks that have been taking place in the south Asian country in recent weeks.

The SRC, after consulting with the ministry of Foreign Affairs, rightly warned the team against embarking on the tour due to security concerns.

“We have consulted on the security situation in Pakistan with particular reference to your intended cricket tour of the country and have advised that it would not be safe for the team to travel to Pakistan at this point in time,” wrote SRC director-general Retired Colonel Charles Nhemachena to ZC chief executive officer Wilfred Mukondiwa.

Despite this clear warning from the supreme sports’ governing body, ZC is still making frantic efforts to ensure the team leaves for the tour on Tuesday.

For the past six years, no Test playing nation has toured Pakistan after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus left seven people dead in 2009.

Pakistan have been playing their home series in the United Arab Emirates since then.

Violence has increased ahead of Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan, which will involve three One Day Internationals and two Twenty20 matches.

A week ago, a helicopter carrying diplomats was shot down by RPG fire killing Norwegian ambassador Leif H Larsen, as well as Philippines envoy Domingo D Lucenario Jr, the wives of the Malaysian and the Indonesian ambassadors, and two pilots and another crew member.

On Wednesday, Islamic State (Isis) militants attacked a bus killing over 43 people and left 20 injured in Karachi.

If truth be told, travelling to Pakistan at the moment is not a good idea and the SRC rightly warned ZC against embarking on the tour.

Even though Pakistani authorities have given the Zimbabwean delegation assurances that they will be safe in Lahore, it still remains a major risk.

ZC have been warned by the relevant authorities against this proposed tour and in the event they go ahead, they should not cry foul when the Taliban or Isis militants attack the team once they land in Lahore.

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