ZC defend Pakistan tour

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) chairman Wilson Manase has defended the team’s tour to volatile Pakistan despite the directive by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) not to go ahead with the trip.

The team returned home on Monday evening after deciding to conclude the series which was rocked by a terrorist attack outside the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday night during the second ODI.

A suicide bomber attempted to enter the venue before the intervention of a police officer, who lost his live together with a Pakistan citizen when the explosive device detonated.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and police officials tried to downplay the incident but the country’s Information Ministry confirmed it was a terrorist attack.

The SRC in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had warned ZC against the tour.

However, a determined ZC proceeded with their travel arrangements after getting clearance from the Ministry of defence.

Zimbabwe became the first Test-playing nation to visit Pakistan after the infamous 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus which left seven people dead.

Manase told the Daily News yesterday that he had sanctioned the trip because he thought the SRC was only expressing an opinion on the security of Pakistan. 

“I didn’t understand it to be a directive,” he told Daily News on the side lines of a press briefing at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

“In fact, I understood it to be an opinion because at press conference that I attended with Lovemore Banda (ZC spokesperson) and Mr (Charles) Nhemachena (SRC director general), he said this was the advice that he was giving us (to abandon the Pakistan trip) but at the same time said it was up to ZC to take it.

“After getting this response which was non-committal I then had to seek other relevant authorities to advise whether our intended tour was safe or not and I think I am justified or vindicated to say that we went to Pakistan, we came back and we are safe.”

Manase said that the team was desperate of game time and it was the only Test-playing nation that had been inactive since the 2015 World Cup tournament hence the decision to go to Pakistan.

“The reason why we decided to go to Pakistan was simple; we have a duty to tour other nations and we have to ensure that to get games we have to visit every country,” he said.

“By going to Pakistan our team gained five matches. After the world cup most cricket teams are engaged in international cricket but we didn’t have any games, these were the first that we played in Pakistan.”

Manase said that the trip was also a way of paying back to Pakistan the solidarity that the Asians showed to Zimbabwe at a time when it was subjected to as a pariah with very few teams opting to engage the locals in international cricket over security concerns.

“Zimbabwe has been in unfortunate position of being in such a situation where everyone would say they would not want to go to Zimbabwe because the security situation is very bad,” he said.

“The problem was that many tourists thought that when they get to the airport they would see people fighting with guns.”

Meanwhile, the SRC insists they will meet the ZC leadership to get to the bottom of the matter.

“SRC is not going to make any further public comments on the matter until our engagement with Zimbabwe Cricket,” Nhemachena told the Daily News.

“We don’t think in our view that it is professional in terms of dealing with an association for them to hear about what we think from the press.”

Comments (2)

Well at least they played some games. Are'nt these the first games since world cup. . The other cricket nations have been playing cricket all along. Bravo Zim cricket at lerast the boys played p[roper cricket. We look forward to the coming tours

kunta - 4 June 2015

Comment yangu yadzimwa kuHerald ndoiisa kuno kunyange isingaenderani nenyaya iripo MaZimbo hatibudiriri nenyaya yekudzikisirana pasi. VanaSharuko ndovanouraya bhora redu. Dube haasi mutsvene hake asi yaafira ndeye kuti akaburitsirei nyaya yeAsia Gate. Sharuko buda pachena nhasi upupure nemuromo wako kuti hauna kudya mari iyoyo uye hauna kugara paBench kuAsia. Maonero angu, ndogona kunge ndiri wrong, vanaSharuko dai vachine nyadzi vaka resigna. Akanga anyarara mazuva enyaya dzake. Ikozvino angwara kuda kutora advantage yekuti anokwanisa kunyora mubepa nhau iye aine ma agenda ake. Let's rally behind ZIFA nemawarriors. Vakaropafadzwa nemari batsiraiwo chero nekubhadhara Salary yemaCoach. Dube anozvipira, tarisai akazvipire kupinyoresa midziyo yake nekuda kwemawarriors iwe Sharuko ungazviita here? Hongu ane nyaya dzake dzekuPSMAS asika idzo ndedzimwewo, paagona ngaarumbidzwe. Tisauraye bhore varume

jm - 5 June 2015

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