Zimbabwe (above) are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan Tuesday    AFP (File Photo)
Zimbabwe (above) are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on Tuesday AFP (File Photo)

Harare: Zimbabwe have left Harare for a high-stakes tour of Pakistan, national cricket association spokesman Lovemore Banda said Monday. READ: Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan 2015 to kick off amidst tight security

“The team has left [Harare]. They are going [to Pakistan] via Dubai,” Banda told AFP. READ: Ahsan Raza, 2009 attack survivor, to officiate

There were doubts whether the five-match tour would go ahead after the massacre of 45 minority Shiites in an attack on a bus in Karachi last week. READ: Tickets selling out fast

It is the first tour of Pakistan by a Test-level team since seven Sri Lankan cricketers were wounded during a 2009 attack by militants in Lahore. READ: PCB announces its own panel of match officials for Zimbabwe series

Zimbabwe are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on Tuesday and play two Twenty20 and three one-day internationals amid massive security at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. READ: ICC not to appoint umpires and match officials citing security

Since the attack on the Sri Lankans, Pakistan have staged ‘home’ matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Views on the tour are mixed with Sri Lanka-born Zimbabwe coach Dav Whatmore upbeat. “I appreciate the significance of this tour to Pakistan and I am happy to go,” he told Zimbabwe radio. READ: Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan a ‘ray of hope’, feels Sarfraz Nawaz

But the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) said their security advisors were against the tour. READ: Tickets go on sale for much anticipated series

A South African radio station quoted FICA chairman Tony Irish saying : “Tours to Pakistan remain an unacceptable risk and teams are advised against travelling there.” READ: Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan is on, says PCB

mbabwe tour of Pakistan 2015 to kick off amidst tight security