May 15, 2015 / 12:41 PM / 3 years ago

Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan still under discussion

CAPE TOWN, (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s planned tour of Pakistan remained up in the air on Friday as discussions continued over whether they would become the first test-playing nation in six years to visit the south east Asian country.

Zakir Khan (R), Pakistan Cricket Board's director of cricket operations, briefs Alistair Campbell (2nd R), Managing Director Zimbabwe Cricket, during their visit to Gaddafi Stadium to examine security arrangements for the upcoming cricket series in Lahore May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) issued a statement saying its board was continuing with discussions regarding the tour. The team are scheduled to leave on Sunday.

“There are consultations going on at the moment with relevant authorities. We do not have a final position as yet,” ZC CEO Wilfred Mukondiwa said.

It followed a bizarre episode on Thursday in which ZC released a statement saying the tour had been called off, but minutes later changed its position to say talks were ongoing.

A ZC delegation which visited Lahore, the venue for all matches on the tour, approved security measures put in place by local authorities last week.

But the terror attack on a bus in Karachi that killed at least 45 people this week led Zimbabwe’s supreme sports regulatory authority, the Sports and Recreation Commission, to advise that the tour be cancelled.

Zimbabwe were due to be the first test-playing nation to tour Pakistan since a 2009 gun attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore left six Pakistani policemen and a van driver dead. Some players and a local umpire were injured.

Pakistan have since been forced to play designated home matches primarily in the United Arab Emirates.

Zimbabwe were scheduled to play two Twenty20 internationals, starting on May 22, and a three-match one-day series.

Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond

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