A Pakistan A team is still likely to tour Zimbabwe in August this year, despite widespread violence ahead of the run-off in the country's presidential elections. The situation has attracted considerable international criticism and led to a cut in cricketing ties with the ECB and Cricket South Africa (CSA).
The A team is scheduled to travel to Zimbabwe to play two four-day matches and three limited-overs games from August 20. "The team will be going there as far as we are concerned," a senior PCB official "We see no issue in this."
The Zimbabwe crisis is top priority at the ICC's annual meeting in Dubai next week. Ray Mali, the outgoing ICC president, has tabled a motion calling for a review of Zimbabwe's Full Member status but, after the BCCI expressed its "full support" to Zimbabwe, other members of the Asian bloc are expected to fall in line. Pakistan is unlikely to be any different, especially as the board sees no issues sending a team to the country.
"We believe that sport and politics should be kept apart at all times," the official said. "But, personally, what is happening in Zimbabwe is not right at all. When the ICC decided to shift its annual meeting from Lord's to Dubai [after complications for Zimbabwe cricket officials in obtaining a UK visa] that was one way of the ICC saying sport and politics should not mix. All countries were in favour of that."
Though the board is reluctant to makes clear its official stance currently, another official said that they are likely to back India and ask for Zimbabwe not to be penalised. "We are not in favour of any boycott," he said. "Pakistan and India are clear that sports and politics should not be mixed."