Zimbabwe to play last ODI despite Lahore suicide attack

Zimbabwe are the first Test nation touring Pakistan since 2009 due to security situation.

Policemen stand inside the Gaddafi Stadium during preparation ahead of cricket series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Lahore
Over 4,000 police officials are on duty for the cricket series [Reuters]

The Pakistan Cricket Board has said that Zimbabwe will play the last ODI of their tour of Pakistan despite a suicide blast near Gaddafi Stadium Lahore that killed one sub-inspector and injured several others on Friday.

Zimbabwe are the first Test nation to tour Pakistan since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.

Described initially as an electricity transformer blast by police, it was later confirmed as a suicide attack. .

“The incident happened away from the main premises and nothing is affected,” a PCB spokesman told the ESPNcricinfo website.

“The tour will go ahead as planned and the Zimbabwe team will continue with their usual activities today, though they are not training today. They will play the third match on Sunday and subsequently will fly back in the wee hours of Monday.”

Police inspect the site of a blast that occurred near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore [Reuters]
Police inspect the site of a blast that occurred near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore [Reuters]

A Capital City Police Officer confirmed that security has been “beefed up” following the attack.

“We have the resolve and the capacity to provide full security to the honourable members of the Zimbabwe team,” he added.

“They are heroes, we treat them like heroes. We are very delighted that they are visiting our country and this nation is very happy.”

The International Cricket Council has given official status to the series but declined to send its match officials to Pakistan due to security concerns.

Zimbabwe lost the two-match Twenty20 series earlier and the hosts have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ODI series as well.

Source: Al Jazeera