Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput has been rendered unavailable for his team's upcoming series against Pakistan due to travel restrictions, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) confirmed on Tuesday.
Rajput, a former Indian cricketer who represented his national side in four ODIs and two Tests, withdrew from the touring party after the Embassy of India in Harare requested for his 'exemption'.
"Zimbabwe head coach Lalchand Rajput will miss the Pakistan tour after the Embassy of India in Harare wrote to Zimbabwe Cricket asking that he be exempted from visiting Pakistan. The Embassy of Pakistan in Harare had issued a visa to Rajput," the ZC press release stated.
In Rajput's absence, bowling coach Douglas Hondo will lead the support staff during their six limited-overs fixtures against Pakistan starting October 30.
"With Lalchand Rajput unavailable, Zimbabwe Cricket has appointed bowling coach Douglas Hondo to take charge of the team for the three ODIs and as many T20Is games against Pakistan," the ZC statement added.
Rajput assumed responsibilities as the head coach for the African nation in 2018. There had been reports regarding complications involved in acquiring a visa to Pakistan for Rajput but those rumours have been quashed with the Embassy of Pakistan issuing him with the relevant document.
The backdrop of diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan adds context to the latest development.
Zimbabwe will kick off their white-ball campaign with three ODIs in Rawalpindi before taking part in the Lahore T20Is beginning on November 7. The squad and coaching personnel landed in capital city Islamabad earlier today and underwent Covid-19 tests.