National cricket team starts Pakistan preparations

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ZIMBABWE national cricket team players are expected to finally start preparations for their tour of Pakistan on Monday after striking a deal from with the local cricket governing body yesterday.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO

The players were reportedly demanding extra incentives amounting to as much as $10 000 per player before committing to the tour after Zimbabwe Cricket had a 50 per cent share of the revenue to be generated from the tour.

However despite reaching an agreement with the players yesterday ZC will only confirm their participation after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) signs the memorandum of understanding while a local security team is also due to visit the subcontinent nation to assess the situation.

ZC are also pushing for a reciprocal tour by the subcontinent nation in August.

“Negotiations with the players have gone well but Pakistan are yet to sign the memorandum of understanding. Without the memorandum of understanding ZC cannot confirm anything at this stage,” a source told NewsDay Sport yesterday.

However another source said the players, who attended the meeting together with national team coach Dav Whatmore had agreed to start preparations on Monday ahead of the tour which is expected to get underway on May 19.

The players, who wanted to know what they were being offered as an extra incentive before committing to the tour, have been going through individual fitness programmes in the last couple of weeks.

“What is important at the moment is what we as players will get out of this tour,” a player told our sister paper Zimbabwe Independent yesterday on condition of anonymity. “We are committed to going there to do our best, but we expect an extra incentive; this is no ordinary tour.”

Pakistan wants the Zimbabwe team to play two ODIs and a T20 International in Lahore at the Gaddafi Stadium and one ODI and one T20 at the national stadium in Karachi.

The tour is expected to set in motion what appears to be a busy schedule for the Whatmore-coached side who are expected to host India and New Zealand in July and August.

Whatmore is likely to sign a four year contract with ZC with the major focus on the next World Cup.

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