LAHORE, Pakistan (CMC) — West Indies will play all three of next month's Twenty20 Internationals in Karachi – instead of Lahore, a move designed to put the cosmopolitan southeastern city “back on the cricket map”.
The Caribbean side had been expected to play the historic series in Lahore, home to the Gaddafi Stadium which hosted the third T20I between Pakistan and Sri Lanka last October.
But Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Najam Sethi said Sunday he had successfully negotiated with Cricket West Indies to have the series hosted in Karachi, the country's financial centre and most populous city.
“I have been working day and night to conclude an agreement with West Indies, which I have just finalised an hour ago,” Sethi said.
“Good news is that West Indies will play three games but these matches will be played in Karachi.
“They will not play in Lahore but in Karachi. That is how we intend to put Karachi back on the cricket map once again.”
West Indies, the reigning T20 World champions, are scheduled to clash with Pakistan on April 1, 2 and 4.
The series will represent the first time international cricket will be played in Karachi since 2009, when militants attacked the Sri Lanka team bus resulting in the death of several of the security forces.
While the attack took place in Lahore, international teams ceased their tours of Pakistan, with the national side forced to play their home matches in United Arab Emirates.
Last September, Pakistan hosted a World XI in a three-match Independence Cup T20 series in Lahore, as the PCB intensified their bid to have international cricket returned to the country.
Sethi also announced that the final of the ongoing Pakistan Super League, which features several West Indies stars like Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Darren Sammy, will be staged in Karachi.