• News round-up

    Zimbabwe will tour Pakistan to play a short limited over series next month, becoming the first Test team to visit the terror-hit country in six years.

    ‘Zimbabwe will visit Pakistan from mid-May for a one-week tour,’ Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters, without announcing the venues.

    A security team from the African nation will visit Pakistan to assess the situation before a final itinerary is announced, he said.

    Foreign teams have refused to tour Pakistan over security fears since a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

    Pakistan has had to host all its home matches in the United Arab Emirates instead. – AFP


    The International Cricket Council has cleared the bowling action of Pakistani spinner Mohammad Hafeez following remedial work and re-tests, making him eligible to play in international matches.

    Hafeez’s action was reported as suspect in the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last November.

    The 34-year-old was suspended from bowling at international level after bio-mechanical tests on his action in Loughborough, England, revealed his elbow extension was beyond the 15-degree tolerance limit.

    Under ICC rules, bowlers are allowed to flex their elbows by up to 15 degrees.

    Hafeez underwent remedial work on his action and had a re-test in Chennai, India, on April 9, which the ICC said he cleared.

    The clearance means Hafeez can bowl in the third and final one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Wednesday.  – AFP


    Disgraced former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt said he was due to appear before the anti-corruption unit of the game’s governing body to try to have his spot-fixing ban relaxed.

    The 32-year-old opener was banned for 10 years with five suspended conditionally along with Mohammad Asif (seven years with two suspended) and Mohammad Aamer (five years) in a spot-fixing case in England in 2010.

    The trio and their agent Mazhar Majeed were also jailed in Britain for receiving money in return for arranging deliberate no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England.

    The deal was struck by an undercover reporter of the now defunct tabloid News of the World in a sting operation which shook the cricket world.

    In January this year Aamer was allowed to play domestic cricket in Pakistan after the International Cricket Council (ICC) revised its anti-corruption code allowing banned players to make an early return to domestic cricket a few months before their bans expire.

    But the Pakistan Cricket Board said Butt and Asif had not completed the rehabilitation processes necessary to allow the relaxation to occur, a claim Butt contests. – AFP