Lalchand Rajput Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Islamabad: Following a request from the Embassy of India in Harare, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has not sent their national coach Lalchand Rajput, a former India cricketer, along with their team that landed in Pakistan on Tuesday. Earlier, the Pakistan embassy has issued Rajput the visa for the October-November tour.

Zimbabwe are to play a limited-overs series in Pakistan.

In a statement, ZC, the national cricket board, said that Rajput had the required clearance from the Embassy of Pakistan but couldn’t go after the Embassy of India in Harare wrote to them, requesting Rajput to be “exempted” from the tour.

“Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput will miss the Pakistan tour after the Embassy of India in Harare wrote to Zimbabwe Cricket asking that he be exempted from visiting Pakistan. The Embassy of Pakistan in Harare had issued a visa to Rajput,” ZC said on its Twitter handle.

In Rajput’s absence, bowling coach Douglas Hondo will serve as the acting head coach on the tour.

Zimbabwe are scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in Pakistan. While the ODIs, part of ICC World Cup Super League, will be played on October 30, November 1, and 3 in Rawalpindi, the T20Is are scheduled for November 7, 8, and 10 in Lahore.

Rajput is a former manager of the Indian team that won the T20 World Cup in 2007 played in South Africa. In May 2018, he was named as interim head coach of Zimbabwe and in August 2018, he was appointed in that role on a permanent basis.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), meanwhile, confirmed the match officials for the upcoming series. Aleem Dar has been assigned on-field duties in five of the six upcoming white-ball matches between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, which will be played from October 30 to November 10.

The three 50-over ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League matches will be played in Rawalpindi, while Lahore will host the three 20-over fixtures. Aleem, the three-time ICC Umpire of the Year from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, will stand in all the three ODIs as well as the first and third T20I, while he will be the third umpire for the second T20I.

The ICC has appointed Prof. Javed Malik, member of the ICC International Panel of Match Referees, as match referee for the series. As per the ICC’s interim playing regulations, Aleem and Javed will be the ICC-appointed match officials.