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Sports

'Chances better' of West Indies cricket team's tour to Pakistan

  • Cricket West Indies is in talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to finalise arrangements regarding its upcoming tour to Pakistan later this year
22 Sep 2021

Cricket West Indies is in talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to finalise arrangements regarding its upcoming tour to Pakistan later this year, a source close to the matter told Business Recorder on Wednesday.

“The chances of West Indies touring Pakistan are higher," the source said.

However, he cautioned that "nothing is certain" given the setbacks after the New Zealand and England cricket boards' decisions.

According to the source, the two cricket boards of Pakistan and the West Indies are currently discussing security and quarantine arrangements, besides other details.

The West Indies team is scheduled to play three One Day Internationals (ODIs) and three T20 Internationals during its December tour to Pakistan.

On Friday, New Zealand pulled out of the Pakistan tour minutes before the first ODI in Rawalpindi. England also decided to withdraw from the men's and women's tours of Pakistan in October citing "player and staff well-being".

The situation has left the PCB in a state of crisis as the likelihood of more international teams refusing to come to Pakistan is increasing even as the country makes efforts to revive hosting the sport.

Reports suggest that the Australian cricket team, which has a scheduled series with Pakistan in February next year, is also under close scrutiny.

In this context, the West Indies team's planned tour in December has become vital for Pakistan.

Pakistan 'used and binned' by the Western bloc, says PCB chief

Pakistan toured West Indies in the middle of a pandemic last month and played two Test matches and four T20Is despite physical and mental exhaustion from back-to-back foreign tours under Covid-restricted environments.

Many stakeholders have argued that it is time for the West Indies team to return the favour. The official was hopeful that the West Indies team and board will not disappoint Pakistan.

On Wednesday, West Indies cricket team CEO Johnny Grave said that his board intends to fulfill its touring obligations, reported Trinidad and Tobago News Day. Grave also said he had spoken with his Pakistani counterpart to know more about everything that had happened during the past week in terms of the tour cancellations.

'Western bloc' has let Pakistan down, board chief says

“We’ll speak to our Independent Security Consultants, ESI, who we used back in 2018 when we went to Pakistan. We've had an initial meeting with WIPA (West Indies Players Association) too about it, and we’re going to follow the same process, that we have done in the past,” Grave was quoted as saying in the report.

He further said that the West Indies cricket board and the players will follow the process as they always have, and will decide after assessing the security arrangements as well as the independent security advice.

In his interview, Grave also mentioned that most of the West Indies players have played in Pakistan in the last few years, and they have not had any security issues.

The tour is scheduled for December, Grave said, adding that we have plenty of time to assess the situation and make a well-informed decision.

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