Zimbabwe-Pakistan series hangs in balance

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Zimbabwe's two-Test series against Pakistan is likely to get underway on Tuesday, despite threats of a player strike over unpaid wages.

Zimbabwe's two-Test series against Pakistan is likely to get underway on Tuesday, despite threats of a player strike over unpaid wages.

After threatening to go on strike before the tour over match fees and then refusing to train on the eve of Saturday's third ODI because of unpaid monthly salaries, Zimbabwe's players have now given their national body until Monday to make the outstanding payments.

"Unfortunately I think it will be spilling into the Test series because I don't think it's all been solved yet. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I'm under the impression that nothing is definite yet. There's no doubt about it, it's still on their minds," said coach Andy Waller.

Zimbabwe are a mere two years into their return to Test cricket, after a self-imposed six-year exile because of the country's failed cricket structure, but the problems of 2005 have since returned.

"I'm trying to do the best I can. Unfortunately I have no control of the other issues that are going on. I've just got to try and get the players to push those problems aside as much as they can and focus on the cricket, which is really the only thing I can do," added Waller.

I can just hope that they can try and be mentally strong to be able to handle those situations. It's very hard to say to the guys, 'please, let's try and focus on and concentrate on cricket, and forget about what's happened.'"

Waller's concerns include the ability of a bowling attack depleted by the early retirement of fast bowler Kyle Jarvis, who chose English county cricket over his country recently. Leg-spinner Graeme Cremer, meanwhile, is also absent.

"The main concern I have at the moment is probably on the bowling side. How are we going to get 20 wickets? I'm not saying our bowlers aren't good, but having lost someone like Jarvis who could bowl with a bit of pace and swung the ball and always gave the chance of picking up wickets, and losing someone like Cremer who's a quality leg-spin bowler. That is one of my concerns at the moment. But I still believe that our bowlers can go out and do the job," he concluded.

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