Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) head coach Lalchand Rajput has been banned from travelling with the squad to Pakistan by the Indian government as the two Asian countries continue with their diplomatic tensions.
Rajput, an Indian national, was supposed to travel with the team for their the limited-overs tour and the Pakistan government had issued a travelling visa. However, the Indian authorities stopped the move.
“The Embassy of India in Harare wrote to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) asking that Rajput, who is an Indian national, be exempted from visiting Pakistan for the limited-overs tour in accordance with the travel guidelines stipulated by the Government of India for its citizens.
“The Embassy of Pakistan in Harare had issued a visa to Rajput,” reads a statement from the ZC.
With Rajput unavailable for the tour, ZC has appointed Zimbabwe bowling coach Douglas Hondo to take charge of the team for the three one-day international matches and as many Twenty20 international games against Pakistan.
The tension between the two countries has been ongoing for several years and the fight is mainly over the over Kashmir an ethnically diverse Himalayan region, covering around 86,000 sq miles (138 sq km), and famed for the beauty of its lakes, meadows and snow-capped mountains.
Even before India and Pakistan won their independence from Britain in August 1947, the area was hotly contested. Under the partition plan provided by the Indian Independence Act, Kashmir was free to accede to either India or Pakistan.
The maharaja (local ruler), Hari Singh, initially wanted Kashmir to become independent – but in October 1947 chose to join India, in return for its help against an invasion of tribesmen from Pakistan.