Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter 

THE Zimbabwe national cricket team held its first training session in Pakistan on Wednesday as they prepare for the eagerly awaited limited-overs series against the hosts.

Stand-in head coach Douglas Hondo took care of proceedings during the practice session held at the Army Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi.

The tourists all stepped out for training in a lively manner after Zimbabwe’s entire squad of 32, including support staffers, tested negative for the coronavirus after undergoing tests for the respiratory disease on their arrival in the Asian country on Tuesday.

While they have access to training facilities, they will remain quarantined in Rawalpindi until next Tuesday.

The first of the three one-day international (ODI) matches between Pakistan and Zimbabwe will be played on 30 October, with the other two scheduled for 1 and 3 November. Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is the venue for the three ODIs, which are part of the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.

Lahore will host the three-match Twenty20 international series between the two sides that will immediately follow on 7, 8 and 10 November.

Speaking to journalists during a virtual press conference held after the first practice session in Rawalpindi, one of the senior players in the Zimbabwean squad, Elton Chigumbura said they were in Pakistan not just to compete but to win.

“It’s important for us to get the points that we need to qualify for the next World Cup. Everyone in the team is very ready and eager to get going and hopefully we will start on a positive note. We came here to win. Every game is important for us, every player here is aware of that and you are going to see us trying to win games,’’ Chigumbura said.

Zimbabwe Squad for Pakistan tour: Chamunorwa Chibhabha (captain), Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams