Aussies, Pakistan jet in

HARARE - Australia and Pakistan have commendably put aside the unfortunate political disturbances caused by a bomb blast at a Zanu PF rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo last Saturday as they arrived in Zimbabwe for the Twenty20 triangular series.

Pakistan were the first to touch down at RG Mugabe International Airport on Thursday evening for the T20 series which gets underway tomorrow at Harare Sports Club.

Australia on the other hand arrived in Harare yesterday just before midday having earlier expressed uneasiness after two people were left dead by the bomb blast.

Vice President Kembo Mohadi and senior government minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri were this week air-lifted to South Africa for further treatment after they were injured in the blast.

Australia’s most exciting all-rounder and spinning genius Glen Maxwell was the first to emerge from the arrivals terminal yesterday followed by the rest of his teammates including captain Aaron Finch.

Meanwhile, former Zimbabwe Test batsman Grant Flower returned home for the first time with his Pakistan outfit where he is now their batting coach.

Flower, who scored six centuries in 67 Tests for Zimbabwe, will certainly be looking for nothing short of a reminder to the local cricket fraternity on what they are missing out on the batting front.

On his first meeting with Zimbabwe since joining Pakistan in 2015, Flower and his charges were able to wrap the series with a 2-0 win in the T20 and a 2-1 victory in the ODIs.

He comes back bigger and better prepared equipped with full knowledge of both nations having been with Zimbabwe between October 2010 and June 2014.

Before leaving to join Pakistan, Flower wrote an emotional love letter to Zimbabwean fans.

“I would like to take this opportunity to clarify my position with regards to Zimbabwe Cricket and my recent resignation as National Batting Coach for the Zimbabwe national cricket team. I have had three good years with ZC, players, coaches and management. I feel that I have developed both as a coach and as an individual. I would like to think that I have had a positive influence on the development of the players and that they have enjoyed their time working alongside me,” wrote Flower.

“Regarding taking up the position as batting coach with the Pakistan national team, I believe that this is the right time for me to take on a new challenge in order to enhance my career. There are always areas where players, coaches and administration can improve in communication but I can honestly say that as a whole, my time with ZC has been both enjoyable and rewarding.”

While Flower and his Pakistan have blossomed since their union, it is not the same back home where Zimbabwe seems to be stuck in the past.

Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in England and Wales after losing in the Qualifying tournament held on home soil earlier this year.

A payment dispute between the players and Zimbabwe Cricket means the hosts have omitted some of their best performers for this tri series.

Senior players Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza and Graeme Cremer are all missing from the squad.

The players who have made the cut to face Pakistan include the forgotten former captain Elton Chigumbura. The all-rounder has made his comeback after two years in the wilderness side-lines.


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