CWI strikes five-year tour agreement with Pakistan
KARACHI, Pakistan (CMC) — West Indies' three-match Twenty20 (T20) series against Pakistan has been rescheduled for next March, and will form part of a bilateral agreement which will see the two sides face each other annually for the next five years, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced.
The series, originally carded for late November, was aborted because of severe smog in Lahore and the unavailability of the leading West Indies players, but will now be played from March 29th to April 1, 2018.
“West Indies and Pakistan Cricket Board have signed an agreement to play a series of T20 matches each year for the next five years — in Pakistan and in the USA — subject to availability of dates and venues,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi told media here.
“West Indies has confirmed that its full team will tour Pakistan next year to play three T20Is on March 29th, 31st, April 1st.”
He added: “There were talks that the series should be played in November, but the weather conditions were not good, so we didn't take any risk.
“Now we will start everything from March next year. The first series will be in Pakistan, and then we will go to America to play the [reciprocal] series. The series in America will be a tri-nation affair which will include Pakistan, West Indies and a third country.”
The PCB is on a quest to have international cricket returned to the country after several years, following an attack by militants on the Sri Lankan team bus back in 2009 which left several of the security forces dead.
Since then, Pakistan have been forced to play home games in United Arab Emirates, as all major Test- playing nations have refused to tour the country because of security concerns.
The PCB hosted the final of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore earlier this year and then successfully staged a three-match series against a World XI last September, a move that attracted praise from the International Cricket Council and went some way in allaying fears surrounding players' security.
Sethi said the agreement with West Indies showed a confidence by international sides in touring Pakistan again.
“I wanted to reveal this [agreement] so that it would become clear that the visits to Pakistan by international teams are not one-time affairs, and the five-year contract with West Indies explains our position,” he said.
“Many countries have contacted us for but we are reluctant to talk to any of them at the moment because our calendar is quite packed at the moment,” Sethi added.
While West Indies will tour Pakistan, Sethi said it was CWI's (Cricket West Indies)decision not to have the return series in the Caribbean because of commercial reasons.
“It was their wish. They think holding a series in the US is financially more feasible. And if you look at it, a three-nation tournament will attract a lot of interest,” Sethi ended.