The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced that West Indies would tour the country for three Twenty20 Internationals in November following the World XI visit to the country next month. PCB Chairman Najam Sethi has also added that Sri Lanka would also visit in October for one or two T20Is.
International cricket is going to return on Pakistan soil after years of seclusion due to security concerns with World XI tour in September subsequently a visit in October by Sri Lanka for a Twenty20 match. After that, in November, West Indies will be playing a Twenty20 series, according to the affirmation given by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“We are getting positive signals and the doors of international cricket are opening on Pakistan,” Najam Sethi, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, told a press conference in Lahore.
Reading out a joint statement from Cricket West Indies, Sethi confirmed the tour is subject to the International Cricket Council’s security clearance.
“Cricket West Indies and the Pakistan Cricket Board are advancing discussions that will see the Windies play three T20 Internationals against the Pakistan Cricket team in Lahore,” said Sethi. “The tour will go on subject to the safety measures adopted during the ICC World XI’s visit to Lahore in September. The announcement follows discussions between Dave Cameron, the Cricket West Indies chief, and Mr. Najam Sethi, the PCB chairman. Both sides have expressed the desire to felicitate the return of international cricket to Pakistan.”
The tours are a big step towards Pakistan hosting major international matches after militants targeted the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore back in 2009 in which eight people were killed and at least seven players wounded. Since the attack, Pakistan was strained to play their cricket in the UAE for the past eight years. The Pakistan Super League final was the last major cricketing event held in the country, in Lahore including a couple of international players.
Nevertheless, security has considerably improved in the last two years. The chairman assured that they will offer presidential-level security to all the teams. The series is going to end the stoppage of international tours since Zimbabwe visited in 2015 when a bomb close to the Gadaffi Stadium claimed the lives of two people.
As a consequence, the International Cricket Council’s ‘Pakistan Task Force’ was formed, headed by Giles Clarke. The England Cricket Board chief was very much involved in prepping up the World XI tour. The team will be headed by former Zimbabwe legend Flower, along with some top international cricketers from various teams, supposedly.
The PCB is also planning to hold more matches of PSL’s third edition in Karachi as well as Lahore.