Pakistan set to cancel Zimbabwe One-dayers

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan are having reservations about hosting Zimbabwe for a One-day series in September due a lack of financial incentive for the matches, the country's cricket board chairman told Reuters today.

Zimbabwe had been scheduled to play three Tests and five One-day internationals in Pakistan this year but following a dispute between the African nation's cricket administration and its players, their Test status was suspended until February 2007.

Despite the removal of Tests from the schedule, Pakistan proposed to host Zimbabwe for a three-match limited-overs series, however, the hosts are now having second thoughts.

''I don't think that is going to be possible as it is not feasible for us. We are going to write to them to postpone their tour until 2008,'' Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyah Khan said.

Khan added that after talks with television rights holders and sponsors, the PCB felt it would not be financially viable to host Zimbabwe for just three One-day games this year.

''We are also due to host West Indies after the Champions Trophy (in October/November) and the players want a rest,'' Khan added, pointing to the logistical problem that would arise if the Zimbabwe series went ahead.

Missing several top players due to a boycott, Zimbabwe were beaten 5-0 in a One-day series in the West Indies earlier this month and are next due to host Bangladesh for five ODIs in July.

Zimbabwe's last tour of Pakistan in 2004 was restricted to a triangular One-day series with the hosts and Sri Lanka.

Khan added that the PCB was considering weaving mandatory win bonuses into central contracts after having met with Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to discuss improved pay scales for players.

Inzamam said last week the players wanted the board to review their existing contracts and give incentives for the World Cup.

The PCB has issued 20 central contracts in three different categories with the highest level giving a monthly retainer of 200,000 rupees (3,300 dollars) followed by 125,000 rupees and 75,000.

At present, Pakistani players are paid their match fees separately and ad hoc bonuses are awarded for winning series.

''There is no demand or pressure from the players for pay increases, they trust us completely. I brought up this issue.

Inzamam has some suggestions which we will look into when we review the new contracts,'' Shaharyar said.

''We have to look at our financial position also, but we would like the players to get more benefits.''

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