Zimbabweans volunteered to tour Pakistan
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP):
A Zimbabwe cricket team official has said, on arriving in Pakistan in defiance of his government, that the players volunteered for the 13-day tour.
Ozias Bvute, head of the delegation and a former Zimbabwe Cricket chief executive, said: "Our players were offered the opportunity to voluntarily come to Pakistan. They accepted and that's why we have a full-strength team."
The delegation, including 15 players and seven officials, sneaked out of Harare on Sunday, ignoring an order from the government's Sports and Recreation Commission to cancel the tour on security grounds.
Bvute says Zimbabwe Cricket weighed "the pros and the cons (of the tour) ... and what we wanted to achieve is to come and play against our brothers".
The SRC and foreign affairs ministry instructed ZC to abandon the tour last week after militants killed 43 people in a bus in Karachi. But the Pakistan Cricket Board promised Zimbabwe would be safe, and 4,000 police and security personnel have been deployed to protect the delegation for five limited-overs games, starting on Friday.