Tickets go on sale in Pakistan for Zimbabwe series
Lahore: Tickets went on sale in Pakistan Saturday for next week’s cricket series against Zimbabwe, days after a major militant attack put the visit — the first by a Test playing nation in six years — in doubt. Zimbabwe confirmed on Friday that they will go ahead with the tour, including two Twenty20 and three one-day internationals, despite an attack on a Karachi bus on Wednesday that left 45 people dead.
Cricket authorities in the African nation had released a statement on Thursday saying that the tour would not go ahead due to the security risk, but quickly apologised. On Friday, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said his Zimbabwean counterpart William Manase had told him via telephone that Zimbabwe was “still willing and ready to send their team to Pakistan”.
The tour is the first by a Test-playing team since 2009, when a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team was attacked by militants in Lahore. That attack, which killed eight people and injured seven visiting players, resulted in the suspension of all international cricket in Pakistan. Fans queued at various spots in Lahore in delight at the prospect of watching international matches at home. “This is exciting,” said Ishan Raza, waving his ticket for the first Twenty20 match on May 22.
The colourful tickets, which the PCB said range in price from 150 Pakistani rupees ($1.50) to 1,500 Pakistan rupees ($15), include the message “igniting a passion which brings a nation together”.
The second Twenty20 match will be played on May 24 followed by three one-day internationals on May 26, 29, and 31. Hundreds of local police also conducted a dress rehearsal of security arrangements for Zimbabwe, who arrive early on Tuesday.