There has been very little international cricket played in Pakistan after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 © Getty
In what comes as a big boost to Pakistan cricket, the Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday (January 24) confirmed that the Windies women’s team will tour Pakistan for a series of three Twenty20 Internationals towards the end of January this year, ahead of the three ICC Women’s Championship ODI games that will be played in Dubai.
The Windies women were the last of the non-Asian teams to travel to Pakistan. In March/April 2004, the West Indies played a drawn Test in Pakistan and won a seven-ODI series 5-2.
“The three T20Is will be played on 31 January, 1 and 3 February at the Southend Club (Karachi), following which the two sides will go head to head in three ODIs in Dubai on 7, 9 and 11 February. The first ODI will be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, while the second and third ODIs will be played at the ICC Academy,” stated a PCB media release.
The series against the Windies comes as yet another step towards the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, which has seen very little action at home after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.
Zimbabwe played three T20Is and three ODIs in Pakistan in May 2015 following which a World XI side led by Faf du Plessis played three T20Is in the country in 2017. Sri Lanka also played one T20I in Pakistan in 2017 while a second-string Windies team played three T20 games in 2018. Pakistan has also hosted a few PSL matches in the country.
Welcoming the news of Windies’ upcoming series, which will be the first for the Caribbean Women in Pakistan since March-April 2004, PCB Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad said: “The visit of the West Indies women’s team to Karachi is great news not only for Pakistan cricket but for women’s cricket in general. We are thankful to Cricket West Indies and their players for trusting the PCB and agreeing to play three T20Is in Karachi.”
“The decision of Cricket West Indies endorses our position that Pakistan is as safe and secure as any other country. On behalf of the PCB, I would like to say that we are confident that this tour will go a long way in the complete revival of international cricket in Pakistan,” he added.
Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies, thanked the players and the support staff for backing the board’s decision to tour Pakistan. “This tour is a further major step for our friends at the Pakistan Cricket Board to bring their cricket back home, and we are pleased that our players and support staff have recognized this and supported this venture.
“The security plan arranged by the PCB is of exactly the same level that the Windies men’s team had last year and independent security advisors, Eastern Star International (ESI), have confirmed to both the CWI and WIPA that they are satisfied that the risk is manageable and can be mitigated to an acceptable level.”
Champions of the 2016 WT20, the Windies women’s side are ranked fourth in the ICC T20I rankings. Pakistan stand three places below them at seven.
After three rounds of the ICC Women’s Championship, the West Indies are sitting in fourth position on nine points with four wins and as many defeats, while Pakistan are sixth on eight points with four wins and five loses.
31 January – 1st T20I, Southend Club, Karachi
1 February – 2nd T20I, Southend Club, Karachi
3 February – 3rd T20I, Southend Club, Karachi
7 February – 1st ODI (ICC Women’s Championship), DIS
9 February – 2nd ODI, (ICC Women’s Championship), ICC Academy
11 February – 3rd ODI (ICC Women’s Championship), ICC Academy