PCB hopeful, but WICB expected to reject T20 offer
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CMC) — The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed yesterday they had invited West Indies to play two Twenty20 Internationals here next March, as authorities here attempt to end the country’s exile from international cricket.
PCB executive committee chairman, Najam Sethi, told media here the invitation was in response to one from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), requesting Pakistan play two T20Is in Florida in late March this year.
West Indies host England in three One-Day Internationals from February 25 to March 9, and Sethi said they had requested the two-match series to be played following that engagement.
“We gave a proposal to WICB that after West Indies’ [series against] England, which will end on March 9, they can come to Pakistan between March 11 to 15,” he said.
Once the WICB agrees to the tour, Sethi said the PCB would also sanction the two T20Is in Florida at the end of March.
However, CMC Sports understands the WICB is expected to reject the PCB’s offer, as the Caribbean body remains mindful of the volatile security situation in Pakistan.
No major Test-playing nation has toured Pakistan since 2009 when militants attacked a bus in Lahore carrying the Sri Lanka side, injuring six cricketers and killing six Pakistani policemen.
Sethi said while he understood there would be reservations by the WICB, he assured the volatile security situation in the country had since improved.
“We told them (WICB) that the security situation had improved and Pakistan Super League (PSL) final will also be played in Lahore. In this scenario, there is no reason to refuse a tour to Pakistan,” Sethi contended.
“If the PSL final is held in Lahore, followed by the World T20 champions visit to play T20s in Lahore then this development will open the door of international cricket in Pakistan.”
Last September and October West Indies faced Pakistan in a full tour of three T20Is, three ODIs and three Tests, with all games played in the United Arab Emirates.
The PCB had offered to play the limited overs series in Pakistan, a move turned down by the WICB.