Cricket-starved fans in Pakistan would ordinarily turn out in droves to cheer on their team, but the limited-overs series with Zimbabwe starting on Friday will be a subdued affair as the games take place behind closed-doors in a 'bio-bubble' designed to keep players separated from the public.
Pakistan are already well-versed with COVID-19 protocols from their recent tour of England, but it will be something new for Zimbabwe to contend with during the three one-day internationals (ODI) and three Twenty20 internationals in Rawalpindi between Oct. 30 and Nov. 10.
Anticipating that health measures – including quarantines and weekly testing – will become standard for future tours, Zimbabwe's head coach Lalchand Rajput wants his players to embrace cricket's new paradigm.
"We've got to get used to it," the Indian national told Reuters from Harare, opting not to tour Pakistan after a diplomatic request from the local Indian embassy.
"It will make it easier when we play the next team – easier because of the experience."
As participants in the International Cricket Council's new qualification competition for the next 50-over World Cup in 2023, both teams will be playing for their first Super League points during the ODI matches.