Cricket: Tourists make Test history

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The Independent Online
ZIMBABWE WON their first away series after the third and final Test in Faisalabad against Pakistan was abandoned as a draw yesterday without a ball bowled throughout the five days due to fog.

The Iqbal Stadium remained enveloped in thick fog for the fifth day running when the umpires, Salim Bader and his New Zealand colleague Doug Cowie, called off play. The touring side secured the series on the basis of a seven-wicket victory in the first Test at Peshawar. The weather-hit second Test at Lahore also ended in a draw.

Hit by allegations of match-fixing and betting against some leading players, the season will go down as one of the most dismal for the home side, who earlier lost a series to Australia for the first time in 39 years. The problems were compounded when the captain, Aamir Sohail, stayed away from the last two Test matches against Zimbabwe amid charges of lack of support from his colleagues.

The pace bowler Henry Olonga, who finished with nine wickets in the truncated series, was named Zimbabwe's best player while the middle-order batsman Yousaf Youhanna, with 209 runs including an unbeaten century, won Pakistan's award.

Pakistan's new captain, Moin Khan, was sad that weather robbed his side from getting back into the Test series. "We were first denied an opportunity in Lahore and now the complete wipe-out here was the final straw," he said. "It has been a huge disappointment for the whole team."

Zimbabwe's captain, Alistair Campbell, was delighted that Zimbabwe had won their first series abroad, but said he was sad the two sides could not play during the past 10 days. "It is really frustrating that we were not able to provide any cricket to the fans of Faisalabad because of the weather," he said.

Back in England, the row between Gloucestershire and Courtney Walsh refused to die down yesterday, with the county insisting the West Indies' pace bowler had made approaches to join a rival county, Glamorgan.

Walsh, aghast at Gloucestershire's withdrawal of their offer of a new two-year contract, has denied the county's claim that he had been in contact with other counties. But Gloucestershire have insisted the bowler was investigating a possible move to Glamorgan.

The Welsh county yesterday announced the signing of the South African, Jacques Kallis, as their overseas player, but Gloucestershire claimed: "Glamorgan have confirmed that they were approached by [Walsh's agent] Ken Trowbridge to discuss terms for 1999."

The former Australian Test player, Mike Whitney, will captain the Don Bradman XI team in a one-day match against England on New Year's Day.

Whitney heads a team that also includes the former Test player Greg Matthews, the prolific Sheffield Shield run-scorer Jamie Siddons, and Western Australia's Michael Hussey. The match will be played in Bowral, south of Sydney.

DON BRADMAN XI (v England, Bowral, NSW, 1 Jan): M Hussey, R Davison, M Phelps, J Siddons, G Cunningham, S Bradstreet, S Thompson, G Matthews, P Emery, M Whitney (capt), B Lee, W Holdsworth.