Pakistan’s wait, of more than six years, to see two captains walk out for a toss in an international match ended on Friday. The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore was abuzz when Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura decided to bat against Pakistan in the first T20 international.
The match marked the return of international cricket to Pakistan after the Test match and the series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in March 2009 was abandoned following a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus and umpires’ vehicle, as they were on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium for the third day’s play of the second Test.
This is also only the second T20 international being played in Pakistan, the last being a match between the hosts and Bangladesh in 2008.
From last month’s T20 squad against Bangladesh, Pakistan had axed Saad Nasim, Imran Khan, Haris Sohail, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal while Mohammad Rizwan, who also played in the T20, is in the current squad but not in the playing XI. He was benched alongside Nauman Anwar, Hammad Azam and Imad Wasim. Mohammad Sami, who last played for Pakistan in July 2012, earned a comeback to the national side.
This is Zimbabwe’s first international match since the World Cup, and since Brendan Taylor’s retirement. They went in with a three-man pace attack, while Graeme Cremer, Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza made up the spin attack.